Sunday, 12 September 2021

Psst... Wanna Buy Freshly Surfaced Artefacts From Taliban Afghanistan?



If you have a desperate craving to support the Taliban cause and acquire some freshly-available artefacts of rare and exotic types from Afghanistan, an eBay seller (' ancientroman' (340) 100% Positive feedback) based in Ratchathavee, Thailand will allow you to fulfil your dreams and desire to use them impress your friends and boost your ego, to make your man-cave into a place exuding "eroodishin" and neo-colonial economic power. EBay eroodishin, that is. A few weeks ago they would have been listed in the section of eBay that, if my memory serves me correctly, was called "Illegal Antiquities", but now they are mostly under "other decorative antiques" along the fancy clocks and reproduction maps. Prices start from $25 and go up to $6000. He says: "We are a long time antique dealer based in Thailand, UAE, UK, JAPAN & CHINA, We deal in all sorts of antiques from the Roman Era to The Islamic Era, Sasanian, Bactrian all sort of antiques, Follow us For More Info". He's sold quite a few items, quite a few are explicitly said to be from Balkh in khurasan. A lot of his clients are really satisfied with what they have been sold as antiquities, just one grouch:

Buyer: a***b (160) (Private listing) Past month
The top of the ring is not original.
Reply by ancientroman. Left within past month. Dear Buyer, we wish you would’ve contacted us regarding your concerns, we would’ve sorted out the issue promptly, we feel sorry that you may think that the top of the ring is not original, in that case we would’ve provided the necessary certification proving the authenticity and the origin of the ring, still we are sorry that you may feel this way we sincerely apologize and we hope we can make it up to you, As always customer Satisfaction is our number 1 priority.  
Ah, so they do have documentation of the origin? Even for the ones from Afghanistan? So why not say that in the sales offer? Or is that the sort of lies that many antiquities dealers routinely fob their clients off with? Basically the rest of the feedback tells us more about the people that buy antiquities like that. They are (a) not at all fazed by being faced with a seller that blatantly declares in the wake of the takeover in Kabul that his stock comes from one of the most heavily-looted conflict zones in the Middle East with no attempt to explain away any legal/ethical pather by which he got it and (b), apart from the dugup coins [which seem to me likely to mostly be what he says they are], the rest of the material looks like the crudest most misshapen fakes you'll see this side of Katmandu. Almost every single person who bought one was dead sure they'd bought a real piece of antiquity straght from the Taliban. That shos just hom much they know. Who are these people, what do they want? As for a dealer that not only sells crap for inflated prices but makes a claim that irt's come from Afghanistan to boost its desirability, well, what can one say?

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