Thursday 20 August 2015

US Statement on Khalid al-Assad

The US Department of State issued a video statement by Spokesperson John Kirby on the brutal murder of Syrian Archaeologist Khalid al-Assad, August 19, 20: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this murder of a man who dedicated his life to preserving Syria's cultural treasures. His life and extraordinary work stand in stark contrast to that of his barbaric killers". At the end he proclaims "All those who destroy important cultural property, must be held accountable" - sadly, the US does not have a particularly strong record of that at home; let it put its own house in order before trying to act the world policeman. Meanwhile just down the road, Gary Vikan argues that Americans should buy antiquities 'spirited out' of conflict zones 'to save them', and thus encourage the commercial 'spiriting out' (he means smuggling) of more.

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