This is not new; we know looting is happening in
Syria and in but
our daily news focuses primarily on the many innocent civilians which are being
murdered instead. Well, it may be debatable what is most important but that is
not the point. Depriving a country of its history and ancestry is a crime also
and an irreversible one for that matter. Iraq
In any case, I find it heartwarming to read in The Independent Newspaper that Tory PM Robert Jenrick found this situation alarming enough to mention that the present looting is on the greatest scale since WW2. Yet nobody does anything about it or, let me rephrase, nobody can do anything about it.
The International Council of Museums has established a Red List of looted artefacts. That list is quite frightening as for Syria it includes cuneiform tablets from the early Bronze Age; 8,000 years old terracotta statuettes of women, apparently fertility goddesses; and more than 5,000 years-old bone and alabaster “eye idols”. As for
Iraq, the list holds 4,000 years-old terracotta
chariot models; gold bowls from the Royal
Cemetery at from 2,500 BC; and typical “scarlet ware”
jars from around 3,000 BC. Ur
I expressed my concerns in earlier blogs: Organized looting in Syria; The War in Syria, what will happen to its heritage?; and Loss of our cultural Heritage in the Middle-Eastern conflicts.
The black market must be thriving and people with the money buy these ancient treasures as a “must-have” to be added to their collection. They don’t care that these artefacts are taken out of their context and that they never will be incorporated in their rightful historical location and function again.