Monday 8 June 2015

Brokers of Smuggled Artefacts Contact the Wrong People

Emilio Largo, notorious
black marketeer
'Islamic State isn’t just destroying ancient artifacts — it’s selling them', warbles Loveday Morris (Washington Post June 8 2015). She adduces little new information other than the established canon that has been going the rounds for about a year now. But from Washington a new element has been added to the customary creed:
Smaller items from Iraq and Syria are now “flooding the ­market” and are widely sold online, said Deborah Lehr, the co-founder of the Antiquities Coalition, which aims to end “cultural racketeering.” She said her organization has been e-mailed by brokers selling smuggled antiquities who mistakenly took her group for collectors.
How stupid are dealers? Who else has received such communications? Have these emails been passed on to law-enforcement agencies, and if so, which ones? Can we see them? What are the names of these alleged "brokers" and how is it ascertained that the items they are offering actually are smuggled? More importantly, are they members of any of the trade associations supporting the anti-preservation lobbying ad if so, which ones? More details please on this important piece of information confirming the existence of this illicit market and its active outreach into the heart of the USA.

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