Posts tagged ‘archaeology news’


Libyan Whispers about looting: twice the churnalists, twice the trouble

On the community journalism website AllVoices, Indian freelance writer Nina Rai has very slightly rewritten Massive Looting of Ancient Artefacts Underway in Libya as Rare Ancient Artifacts Being Looted on Large Scale in Libya: Russian Scholar.

But with twice the churnalists, there’s twice the trouble.  Rai’s version has two significant, and worrying, differences: the unreliable witness is presented as (only) an academic; and the only claimant is represented as many.

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Libya: looting claims rejected; propaganda accusations not denied

I had already blogged my distrust of the claims of an archaeological crisis in Libya: Bombing, Looting; Lobbying and Churnalism. Now, Andrew Lawler has reported ‘Claims of Mass Libyan Looting Rejected by Archaeologists‘ in Science magazine. I’ve also found a Russian TV interview with Nikolai Sologubovsky, in which he does not deny propagandising for the Gaddafi regime.

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Libya: bombing, looting; lobbying and churnalism

In the Hindu, journalist Vladimir Radyuhin has reported ‘massive looting of ancient artefacts underway in Libya’. The Hindu has also republished Radyuhin’s (very slightly reworded) news article as an op-ed (opinion) piece, warning that ‘Libyan cultural heritage [is] in danger of going the Iraqi way’.

Radyuhin’s source was ‘a Russian expert on West Asia’, ‘scholar’, ‘orientalist, writer and film maker’ Nikolai Sologubovsky, who had ‘spent several months [April-July] in Libya this year as a correspondent for a Moscow tabloid’.  (Elsewhere, Iranian Press TV journalist Svetlana Tikhomirova credited Nikolay Sologubovsky as a photographer.)

But Radyuhin’s article seems to be churnalism; and the polite word for Sologubovsky’s work would be “lobbying” (while another would be “propaganda”)…

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