At the time of this writing the self-styled Caliphate created by Islamic State six years ago in Syria and Iraq has been reduced to little more than a square mile of bombed out rubble. During IS’ heyday much was made in the western press of a supposed systematic trade in antiquities looted by IS operatives… Read More As the IS “Caliphate” disappears, time to revisit larger issues of the illicit antiquities trade
A few proposals floated in the final months of 2015 offered rational, practical options for saving antiquities and ancient monuments.… Read More Rational Proposals for Safeguarding Antiquities – But Will Anyone Act?
With Islamic State on the rampage, and other groups swearing allegiance to them in Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the threat to ancient heritage is greater than ever, and the debate over whether or not to return antiquities, looted or legally exported, to the modern nation states where they were discovered is fiercer than ever.… Read More Making Matters Worse? The Debate Over “Repatriating” Antiquities to Failed States in the Middle East
This is not completely confirmed yet but ISIS had been claiming for some time they would do this. They clearly wish to erase any traces of ancient Assyrian heritage from their self styled caliphate. Here’s the Iraqi news item (open in a new tab or page): http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/isis-detonates-large-parts-nineveh-historical-wall/
In April of 2013 I published on this blog a photo essay highlighting some of the many Assyrian antiquities in The British Museum (here is the link: https://clioantiquities.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/a-sampler-of-ancient-assyrian-art-at-the-british-museum/ ). Little could anyone have known at the time that a gang of fanatics and thugs, referred to now under the English language acronyms ISIS or ISIL,… Read More Assyrian Art and the “Repatriation” of Antiquities