Wednesday, June 10, 2015

'Blood antiquities': a wound the world struggles to staunch

Mark John,

Extract from article:
Islamic State's pillaging of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, video of museum statues and carvings destroyed in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and now the seizure of the Syrian heritage site of Palmyra have underscored the world's impotence at saving some of its most precious archaeological treasures. ...
UNESCO, headed by polyglot Bulgarian ex-foreign minister Irina Bokova, has led world calls for a halt to the destruction. But its own resources are limited, not least because of the U.S. decision in 2011 to cut off funding of the body after other members backed a Palestinian bid for full membership. ...
While those images are still widely accepted as evidence that theft is taking place on a huge scale, doubts have since emerged about the methodology and data basis of estimates of the amount of proceeds that have flown to IS or other groups.
Obama and Stengel (while still Time editor) from
"We still need to figure out the market itself," Richard Stengel, U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, acknowledged at a conference held at Paris's Louvre museum this month.
UNESCO is similarly circumspect.

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