Looted in Syria -- and Sold in London

26 Oct 2015 9:18 AM | Anonymous

Looted in Syria -- and Sold in London

By Rachel Shabi

The Guardian

Posted 2015-10-24 00:54 GMT

Treasures from the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, pictured, which was recently captured by Isis, were found for sale on the black market in Lebanon in 2013 (Christophe Charon/AFP/Getty).Mark Altaweel is surprised at how easy it is. A few hours into a hunt around London, the near-east specialist from the UCL Institute of Archaeology has uncovered objects that, he says, are "very likely to be coming from conflict regions" in Iraq and Syria. The items -- pieces of early glass; a tiny statue; some fragments of bone inlay -- range from the second to fourth centuries BC. Altaweel says they are so distinctive that they could only have come from a particular part of the region: the part now controlled by the so-called Islamic State. That we were able to find such items openly sold in London "tells you the scale -- we're just seeing the tail end of it," he says.