Closing in on the archaeological underworld

19 Jul 2012 8:08 AM | Anonymous

Closing in on the archaeological underworld

In 2003, Swiss customs discovered 200 stolen ancient Egyptian treasures, including two mummies, at Geneva’s free port
Image Caption: In 2003, Swiss customs discovered 200 stolen ancient Egyptian treasures, including two mummies, at Geneva’s free port (Keystone)

by Michèle Laird, swissinfo.ch


Switzerland has been cleaning up its free ports after a 1995 scandal on its home turf triggered a probe into looted antiquities. Globally, the fight to disrupt such criminal activity is stepping up with a Web experiment to share information.


Museums the world over still display archaeological treasures that sometimes are not legally theirs. While governments wrangle over their rightful ownership, looters continue to plunder sites to feed a prospering black-market.
 
Now, an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times is trying to set up “WikiLoot”, a way of crowd-sourcing information on looted antiquities via the Web. “We want to make it impossible to turn a blind eye,” Jason Felch told swissinfo.ch.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/Closing_in_on_the_archaeological_underworld.html?cid=33088854

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