Thursday, 16 May 2013

On their Way: Smuggled Syrian antiquities recovered in Lebanon

According to the Lebanese newspaper, the Daily Star ('Smuggled Syrian antiquities recovered in Lebanon', 16 May 2013) the Lebanese security authorities have recovered Byzantine and Roman-era artifacts smuggled into the country from Syria. They were found during a raid on a storehouse containing quantities of the stolen artefacts after a tipoff. The location of the store was not revealed.
General Security also arrested two members of a smuggling ring who confessed that they had stolen the items. They said the artifacts were looted from cemeteries in Palmyra and churches in Homs. Authorities are continuing their search for the remaining members of the smuggling ring.   

How many antiquities on the western market pass through similar storerooms before they "surface" with a "whoops I lost the collecting history, but it was in an old collection - trust me" shrug by the dealer? 

Vignette: Freshly surfaced antiquities in a Lebanese middleman's storeroom, awaiting a buyer (The Daily Star/General Security, HO)


UPDATE 18.05.13

'Lebanon arrests a network smuggling Syrian antiquities', Ya Libnan May 18, 2013
Sources told  Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International that the arrested persons were identified as one Lebanese and 3 Syrian nationals, noting that one of the arrested Syrians was impersonating a journalist in order to smuggle antiquities. According to the report the General Security wants to to ban trading in stolen antiquities from Syria to preserve the country’s rich archaeological heritage.

Rick St Hilaire ("Roman, Byzantine and Other Conflict Antiquities from Syria") has a link to a Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International video (in arabic) showing the extent and nature of the haul

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.