Friday, 21 November 2014

Dealer: No Signs of the Artefacts

"The situation is bad enough without inanities".

Alan Walker joins in the discussion of the ranking of ISIL finance sources, is it second or fifth? He denies having seen a single illicit item from the region:
The destruction of sites is very clear from aerial photographs – it must be true. But WHERE IS THIS STUFF THEY ARE FINDING? It is not on the market anywhere that anyone knows. We are not seeing vast numbers of coins from these areas, or vast numbers of lovely artifacts. 
So, either they are all disappearing into the vaults of the coin fairies - or perhaps the market is working in a way which differs from Dr Walker's imagination of how it 'should' operate.  What other explanation does he care to offer for the holes? How could artefacts just "disappear" on today's totally transparent antiquities market?  Like others in the dealing world, Dr Walker draws attention to the role of Turkey:
Are we supposed to believe that a country that is incredibly serious about tracking down and getting back its own illegally exported heritage is perfectly happy to have all this Syrian and Iraqi stuff going through its territory without a peep of indignation?
Dr Walker is being disingenuous here. He knows full well that most source and market countries have antiquities legislation that protects archaeological material dug up and within on its own territory but is very difficult to apply to artefacts passing through. We've seen the way in which unprovenanced Egyptian artefacts pass through Turkey without any problems. This is why we are discussing this issue here, proposals are being made to close such loopholes in German law.


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