Thursday 10 February 2011

Munich Dealer Loses Some of his Stock

Over in Bavaria, apparently the 'Lootier Land' of Germany where the Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology boasts of the free trade in antiquities obtaining there (see here and here), one of the dealers has lost a bit of his stock. According to 'Monsters and Critics', when challenged, it turns out he was unable to show how a Mesopotamian item he was in possession of in 2004 had left Iraq ('Germany returns antique battleaxe to Iraq', Monsters and Critics, Feb 9, 2011). The dealer's name is not given.

The item in question, a decorated axe was found by police in 2004, and after the dealer was unable to produce any document confirming legitimate origins, was sent to the Roman-Germanic Museum in Mainz for evaluation. The Museum pronounced it 'typical of the military equipment used by early Mesopotamian city states'. The object was accordingly returned to Iraq on Wednesday following several years of legal limbo. The Iraqi ambassador Hussain Mahmood Fadhlalla al-Khateeb accepting the object said it was "important to crack down on trafficking in stolen goods, as this was an income stream for terrorist groups".

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