Posts tagged ‘Iraq’

February 23, 2016

Maltai, Dohuk, KRG, Iraq: Peshmerga have not used ancient Assyrian art for target practice

[Evidently, it is necessary for me to explain: yes, I do object to nationalists who vandalise cultural property; and yes, I am concerned with the suffering of the Assyrian community, as I am with the suffering of other civilian communities. In my work on state crime, I have highlighted how plunder of cultural property was a constituent element of the genocide of Assyrians.]

Based on multiple media reports and social media comments, I tweeted that Peshmerga had ‘practiced shooting and painted [a] flag on [the] ancient Assyrian city of Khenis (Dohuk, KRG, Iraq)’. Thankfully, Simone Muehl quickly pointed out that this was wrong.

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February 17, 2016

I am not there. I have not said that. I could not say that. I do not know that.

I appreciate that this information is being circulated by someone who is trying to secure funding for research and analysis in which I would be involved. And I appreciate that this information might be characterised as a derivation of things that I have said. However, I cannot accept its circulation, especially as it affiliates me with a different university and it claims that I am performing work outside my current contract, for which I would need a visa that I do not have. I do not know amongst whom it is being circulated.

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February 17, 2016

it cannot be much more correct(ed): Sunni PMU recovered antiquities from Islamic State in Iraq

Fortunately, I’m running out of ways to get this wrong. I initially saw the list of participants in the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) in Iraq – Shia, Sunni, Christian and Yezidi – and assumed that they were Kurdish, as Yezidis are Kurdish.

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February 16, 2016

photo of nine Babylonian-era antiquities that were recovered from Islamic State in Iraq by Ummaya Al Jabbara

When Steven Ishak Nabil (Ummaya Al Jabbara@stevoiraq) shared the news of the raid on the Islamic State by the Sunni Popular Mobilisation Unit (PMU) of Ummaya Al Jabbara, he published a photograph of all nine of the antiquities that had been recovered.

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February 16, 2016

Correction: Sunni Popular Mobilisation Unit raided Islamic State in Iraq, found Babylonian-era antiquities

Yesterday, I relayed Al Sumaria TV news that a Popular Mobilisation Unit (PMU) in Iraq had raided the Islamic State and recovered Babylonian-era antiquities.

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February 15, 2016

Sunni Popular Mobilisation Unit raided Islamic State in Iraq, found Babylonian-era antiquities

Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) shared photos of ancient ‘artefacts found by #Iraq’s Hashd (PMUs) in a Da’ish HQ near Al-‘Alam (northeast of Tikrit)’ city, Salahuddin province, which had been published by Al Sumaria TV; I was shown by @CTstudies.

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December 10, 2015

Schlagzeile geht schneller als Recherche – über die journalistische Arbeit zum Antikenraub [Headlines move faster than research – on journalistic work on antiquities looting]

Esther Saoub and Amir Musawy have published a clear, helpful (German-language) article about Abu Sayyaf’s antiquities stash and how headlines move faster than research – on journalistic work on antiquities looting [Schlagzeile geht schneller als Recherche – über die journalistische Arbeit zum Antikenraub].

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November 9, 2015

tense being reviewed: antiquities looting to order in India

A month ago, Donna Yates, who teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime for the University of Glasgow, kindly reviewed my analysis of looting-to-order/theft-to-order of cultural property in (open access) Cogent Social Sciences. I’m now finally clawing my way back to electronic life and wanted to highlight it here.

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July 17, 2015

Reassessing the balance of antiquities and forgeries in Abu Sayyaf’s stash

Someone kindly prompted me to reconsider the balance of antiquities and fakes in Abu Sayyaf’s stash and I thought it might be worth trying to count some of the sets of objects on display. I didn’t want to do it before, because I don’t trust my eye for this material, but the fakes here appear to be so poor that they largely distinguish themselves.

I fear that unguided journalists’ professional effort to capture the variety of objects may have incidentally foregrounded the fakes, of which there is a far greater variety than there is of coins and beads. And archaeologists and criminologists (myself included), then, focused on the outliers instead of the the overwhelming majority of objects. It appears that most of Abu Sayyaf’s illicit antiquities were ancient coins.

[I’m working on a huge update based on the U.S. State Department Cultural Heritage Center’s summary and photo gallery of the ISIL leader’s loot.]

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July 16, 2015

Why don’t dealers in London keep records as detailed as traffickers in Deir ez-Zor?

Thanks to Esther Saoub and Paul Barford amongst others, there have been many updates to the ‘first material proof‘ that Islamic State is trafficking antiquities.

In a further follow-up, I’ve reassessed the balance of antiquities and forgeries. I believe that most of Abu Sayyaf’s stash comprised ancient coins. [I’m working on a huge update based on the U.S. State Department Cultural Heritage Center’s summary and photo gallery of the ISIL leader’s loot.]

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