Unfortunately, there has not been any more news on rescue efforts yet. However, I have found more reports with more details, so I have updated my post. Most importantly, I thought that the killed hunters had been security escorts, but other reports have shown that they were excavation workers. So, it is the case that five still-unknown gunmen (two with machetes, three with ‘heavy guns’) have killed two excavation workers, kidnapped two archaeologists in Nigeria. Most of the new information comes from interviews of Sani Aliyu and Usman Kagarko by Premium Times.
update and correction: unknown gunmen have killed two excavation workers, kidnapped two archaeologists in Nigeria
Around 8.55am on Wednesday morning, abductors with ‘guns and machetes’ kidnapped two archaeologists in Janjala/Janjela/Jenjela village, Kadarko/Kagargo/Kagarko area (near the road between Kaduna airport and Abuja city), southern Kaduna state, north-western Nigeria. Tragically, according to the Archaeological Association of Nigeria, local hunters and excavation workers Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim, ‘who intervened to abort the kidnap’, were shot and killed; the identities of the killed were also given by attempted rescuer Usman Kagarko.
This is just a note to say that, happily, I’m assisting with some assessment and planning in Jordan, so I’m going to be in Amman for several months. If anyone wants to discuss trafficking (or anti-trafficking), I’ll be around.
Today, Christie’s Paris auction house is offering sacred images and other antiquities from Asia, specifically Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet. Almost none of the 88 objects has a secure and complete collecting history. Numerous objects appear to have “surfaced“, in archaeologists David Gill and Christopher Chippindale’s term, at this auction.
Thus, with regard to almost all of the 88 objects, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to reassure ethical buyers that they are not taking any risk of handling stolen cultural goods, illicitly exported cultural goods or illicitly imported cultural goods.
conflict antiquities, from Libya to Italy and from Syria to Belgium, and lack of due diligence in the international market
Fortunately and unfortunately, I’m going to be staying in Turkey longer than expected, so I won’t be able to go to the International Arts and Antiquities Security Forum (@IAAS_Forum). Happily, the CEO of ARCA (the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, which has its own conference in Amelia, Italy every June), Lynda Albertson, is going to speak instead.
Last year, Simon Cox led a team who investigated ISIS: Looting for Terror for the BBC (File on 4). Since then, he has led a team who have investigated ISIS and the Missing Treasures for Channel 4 (Dispatches). On both occasions, they have done solid investigative work and secured new evidence of antiquities trafficking. My queries do not detract from that work.
In the original title of my previous post, I asked, does one of the ‘recently excavated Palmyrene statues’ have six fingers? In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, some people seem to have (mis)understood it as a denial of the existence of polydactyly (where people have more than five digits on one or more of their hands and/or feet).