Saturday 21 June 2014

Looted Objects Smuggled from Mosul

Mosul in northern Iraq
Iraqi antiquities and historic monuments, including churches and monasteries, have already come under attack in the region of Mosul since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL) took control of the city on June 10.
“There have been attempts to smuggle a number of rare Iraqi manuscripts from a number of libraries in Mosul to Turkey, including a rare Qur’an which dates back to the Abbasid era,” the head of Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Qais Hussein, told Asharq Al-Awsat. Hussein said that “relevant authorities in the Iraqi government will take charge of following up the fate of these smuggled manuscripts to ensure their return and the punishment of the parties involved in their smuggling.” [...] Meanwhile, UNESCO has also called on Iraqis and their government to join it in protecting Iraq’s “cultural heritage,” and to help fight the theft of antiquities and the illegal trade in artifacts.
It should be insisting the dealers and collectors do the same and at the same time conducting a far more effective and far-reaching public information campaign to bring opprobrium on all who irresponsibly and negligently buy and sell antiquities with no concerns about establishing their 'clean' provenance.

Source: Iraq authorities: Rare manuscripts smuggled out of Mosul' Asharq Al-Awsat, Sunday, 22 Jun, 2014.

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