Syria conflict: the illicit art trade that is a major source of income for today's terror groups is nothing new

27 Apr 2015 10:22 AM | Anonymous

Syria conflict: The illicit art trade that is a major source of income for today's terror groups is nothing new

Isabel Hunter

Sunday 26 April 2015

“I’ve taken this out so many times,” said Hani, as he deftly unzips a black laptop case. From two side pockets the Syrian remove a statue, some beads and an assortment of stones and arrange them for viewing.

Nestled in the bag is an intricately carved 4,000-year-old limestone tablet covered in hieroglyphics. The markings record the success of two Mesopotamian kings, and were carved a stone’s throw from Babylon, the cradle of civilisation.

An inspection of the tablet, gingerly touching the rough stone, is paused as a fresh break becomes evident – a crack splitting the plaque in two. Sheepishly, Hani and his colleague admit that they broke it last year. The handle of the laptop case wasn’t strong enough, they explain, and had sent thousands of years of history – an object of huge value – crashing to the floor.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-conflict-the-illicit-art-trade-that-is-a-major-source-of-income-for-todays-terror-groups-is-nothing-new-10204285.html