What do we really know about Islamic State’s role in illicit antiquities trade?

01 Mar 2016 8:52 AM | Anonymous

What do we really know about Islamic State’s role in illicit antiquities trade?

Experts at London symposium warn against misinformation and lack of evidence

by Cristina Ruiz  |  1 March 2016

How are stolen antiquities being smuggled out of Syria? How much does Islamic State (Isis) profit from this illegal trade? Can we do anything to stop it? These were some of the questions broached by investigators and scholars at a symposium on art and terrorism co-organised by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (Arca) held at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London last Saturday, 27 February.

Mike Giglio, an investigative journalist with Buzzfeed who spends much of his time reporting from Turkey’s 560-mile border along Syria, has witnessed firsthand the steady stream of objects smuggled out of the war-torn country. The border is long, porous and difficult to control, Giglio said, and some guards are involved in the trade. But he warned against demonising the people who dig for artefacts in Syria and then smuggle them out. “It’s a sign of the desperation of the people affected by the conflict… they see artefacts buried in the ground as their ticket out of their current hell.”  

http://theartnewspaper.com/news/news/what-do-we-really-know-about-islamic-state-s-role-in-illicit-antiquities-trade/