Archive for February 20th, 2013


Syria: conflict antiquities and funding of regime and rebels through looting and smuggling

Happily, WordPress have unblocked (my access to) my blog.

As Dorothy King says of the Syrian situation, the ‘[l]oss of life [is] terrible, huge compared to looting going on’. Our primary concern must always be the human cost. Grotesquely, one of the reasons I don’t address the human cost here is that too many people are being maimed and killed too fast for me to keep track. All I can hope with any of my work on conflict antiquities is that it somehow, sometime, contributes to the re-establishment of peaceful community life.

David Meadows (@rogueclassicist), Dorothy King (@DorothyKing) and Paul Barford (@PortantIssues) have been discussing the illicit trade in antiquities amidst the Syrian civil war. Thankfully, Meadows and King debunked the Assad regime’s claims about the looting-and-smuggling of the Odyssey mosaics from Apamea. However, I fear that some of the scepticism towards allegations of rebel engagement in antiquities looting and smuggling ignores repeatedly, independently-confirmed information from non-partisan sources on the ground.

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