Posts tagged ‘Libya’


antiquities dealers, Jaume Bagot Peix and Oriol Carreras Palomar, arrested on suspicion of jihadi terrorist financing by illicit antiquities dealing

On 26th March 2018, two 31-year-old antiquities dealers were arrested (detenido) and released on bail (puesto en libertad bajo fianza) in Barcelona, Spain. They were codenamed Mr. J.B.P. (or JBP) and Mr. O.C.P. (or OCP).

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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.

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If Americans are scared of refugees in Europe, there is a very simple solution for them – to not come to Europe

While this post is somewhat off-topic for this blog, the material is too offensive not to comment. foreign(?) Assadist propagandists, pathologically anti-Obama Islamophobic American propagandists, even seeming Serbian nationalists are appropriating evidence of illicit arms trafficking between Turkey and Libya in order to incite hatred of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

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Is there a conflict antiquities trade in Qurans from Libya via Malta?

A ‘group of gunmen’ looted the Karamanli Mosque on the 7th of October and the Sufi Othman Pasha Madrassa on the 11th; only local civilian protectors saved the Darghout Mosque from the same fate. (At the time, they were said to have taken ceramic tiles, marble architectural elements and the floor from the Karamanli Mosque; but not many details were released.)

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Alalam does not have any evidence that the Islamic State has destroyed Sufi shrines in Deir Ezzor, Syria, September 2014

Since some of Alalam’s false evidence was slightly less obvious than the rest (in the last post), I felt I should debunk it properly. Alalam News Channel‘s photos have been recycled from the documentation of earlier acts of violence in Syria in 2013, Iraq in 2014 and Libya in 2012. I won’t be online much for the next two or three weeks.

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Libya: Benghazi’s new Coptic church has been set on fire, burned or burned out

My social media monitors picked up that @libyanproud had reported: ‘Coptic Church in Benghazi burned in retaliation to the Libyan flag burning at the Libyan embassy in Cairo’. I saw the photo and shared the news. And the building certainly has suffered arson. But the question of whether it was “set on fire”, “burned” or “burned out” has not been answered yet. And that highlights the (both historically and emotionally) awkward problem of describing damage and destruction.

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@samarkeolog Twitter archive: illicit antiquities trade elsewhere

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on the illicit antiquities trade elsewhere (than Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and West Africa – Mali and Nigeria) are here.

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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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