Thursday 29 October 2015

US Senator targets ISIS antiquities smuggling, calls unscrupulous antiquities buyers 'traitorous'

Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), is renewing calls to fight ISIS through its antiquities trafficking.
Casey participated this week in a forum, Death of History: Witnessing Heritage Destruction in Syria and Iraq, in part to promote a bill he introduced that seeks to limit ISIS’s ability to profit off plundered antiquities. “If you’re involved in this in any way, or you’re not doing enough to shut it down, you’re helping ISIS. It’s pretty simple,” he said. In July, Casey and GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and David Perdue (Ga.) introduced the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act that gives the State Department authority to impose restrictions on the importation of Syrian antiquities into the United States. Because the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Syria, the typical process of restricting the sale of illicit artifacts — entering into a memorandum of understanding with the other country — doesn’t apply, Casey said.
When questioned, Sen Casey said he did not know any specific cases of U.S. citizens who have bought stolen artefacts from ISIS,
but said it wouldn’t be surprised if it is happening. “Where there’s a profit motive, some people are willing to do things which are odious and objectionable and frankly, I’d say, traitorous,” he said
'Senator targets ISIS antiquities smuggling', The Hill 29th October 2015

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