Friday, 3 July 2015

What the International Antiquities Trade Does not Want You to Know....

“The industry runs on trust,” says Hardy. “By not
keeping any records, dealers make it easier for buyers
to convince themselves there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.”
That, in turn, makes it harder to enforce laws
 relating to the trade in stolen antiquities.

Here's an interesting piece of the sort of journalism we need more of. Actually going to some London dealers. Look what they found.
When Mark Altaweel agreed to hunt for ‘blood antiquities’ in London dealerships, he was expecting more of a challenge. But as the archaeologist discovered, relics from the ruins of Palmyra and Nimrud are now on display in British shops – and so far no-one has worked out how to stop it. Mark Altaweel is surprised at how easy it is. A few hours into a hunt around London, the near-east specialist from the UCL Institute of Archaeology has uncovered objects that, he says, are “very likely to be coming from conflict regions” in Iraq and Syria. The items – pieces of early glass; a tiny statue; some fragments of bone inlay – range from the second to fourth centuries BC. Altaweel says they are so distinctive that they could only have come from a particular part of the region: the part now controlled by the so-called Islamic State. That we were able to find such items openly sold in London “tells you the scale – we’re just seeing the tail end of it,” he says. [...] 
Interestingly that eBay coin appears again, with a subtly changed caption. Could it be that the Guardian is actually goading that dealer (we all know who you are) to take THEM to court? That would be a very informative case. Go on Mr Bierman, go for it!

Rachel Shabi, ' Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis', the Guardian Friday 3 July 2015.

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