Monday 20 October 2014

Film: "Plundered Heritage"

Das italienische Kommando TPC
(Comando carabinieri per la tutela del
patrimonio culturale) während einer
Bestandsaufnahme einer geplünderten
Grabungsstätte im Irak.
Volkmar Kabisch, Esther Saoub and Andreas Wolter have made a film that every collector of antiquities and anyone "passionately interested in the past" should see and reflect upon. As the name suggests,  "Das geplünderte Erbe - Terrorfinanzierung durch deutsche Auktionshäusere" is a hard-hitting account of the place of European dealers in financing conflict in the Middle East. The name ISIS (and the label "terrorism") appear regularly as a leitmotif, and though this may verge on the sensationalist, the points made are general ones, and need to be addressed.
It would be useful if somebody could produce a full transcript in English, not all UK and US collectors will be able to follow the German. Three dealers figure prominently as do the Dubai freeport and an export company down there. A couple of German experts comment on hos futile it is trying to combat this problem with the laws in the state they currently are. Michel van Rijn holds forth and produces a rather odd map of how he thinks the antiquities reach foreign markets. As always, it would be interesting to know on what this is based.

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