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Re: Iraq's archaeological heritage

Archaeological heritage.

The rape and looting of Iraq's archaeological heritage continues.  Not
only do unscrupulous dealers supply wealthy patrons, but one step further,
wealthy patrons/collectors  also commission the theft of certain items.
Hence the items never even come onto the open market, but are incorporated
within private collections.  

One of the most well-known persons who indulges in this 'hobby' is the
proprietor of a fabulous jewellery store at the Hilton Hotel in London.
But his real interest is in artefacts, and I understand that he has in his
possession pieces from Nineveh.  He is hoping to donate his 'collections'
eventually to a museum!

The illicit trade in antiquities robs a country of its heritage, giving
just a few scraps of sustenance to the villagers who participate.  It is
part of a much larger mafia-type organisation that preys off a country
which is unable to maintain the necessary organisation to protect its
sites, due to the lack of equipment (cars etc.).  The pillage of
antiquities is a serious by-product of the sanctions.

Erica C. D. Hunter (Dr.)
Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit,
University Library,

Copyright reserved. Dr Erica C D Hunter. E-mail:

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