Archive for October 29th, 2014

29/10/2014

Islamic State has destroyed yet another Yezidi shrine (Sinjar, Iraq, by 29th October 2014)

Acid Jordi (@Aceeeeeed) shared video frames that showed that ‘#ISIS destroyed another ancient #Yazidi #Ezidi Shrine in the #Sinjar area’. They were taken from an official release of the Nineveh Mandate of the Islamic State. It was yet another advertising brochure for death and destruction. Êzidî Press (@EzidiPress) is still trying to confirm whether or not it is Quba Memê Reşan (Meme Reshan Shrine), but the building has distinctively Yezidi architecture, and the images are not fake, so the Islamic State is continuing its programme of genocide.

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29/10/2014

The making of the making of an urban legend?

Regarding the claim that the Islamic State has made $36m from the illicit trade in Syrian antiquities, Cultural Property Observer – and antiquities collecting lobbyist – Peter Tompa has rightly condemned the making of an urban legend, questioned both the reliability of the source (an official under a government with a ‘questionable reputation and desperate need for international support’) and the usefulness of the data (which may refer to the value of looted antiquities, but may refer to the value of any and all looted assets), and noted that I identified the two original reports of the data as contradictory.

But he is wrong to say that ‘[o]ne of the main justifications for the purported need for “emergency import restrictions” on Syrian artifacts is that ISIS has netted $36 million from the sale of artifacts from just one area in Syria alone’, to dismiss the evidence as an urban legend, and to allege that I have (in my Reuters analysis and opinion piece) ‘now latched onto it because [I] think it will help give [the archaeological community’s] demands to suppress all trade in undocumented artifacts some additional traction’.

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