Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Most Looting in Iraq

The Art Newspaper has reported that most looting in Iraq has ended with the improving security situation.
One would think this news would be cheered and not jeered as it has been on both the "Safe Corner" blog and on the Iraq Crisis List. See: and and

Why the concerted effort to contest the views of a former Iraqi official on the scene? A cynic might suspect that those most interested in arguing that looting in Iraq continues on a large scale fear that good news will mean that their "15 minutes of fame" is fast drawing to a close.

1 comment:

Voz Earl said...

I believe the reaction of the other side is quite telling. They quickly dismiss the testimony of an on the ground observer in favor of the anecdotal evidence divined from satellite photos of a few sites. Pardon me if I don't find that method of inquiry absolutely convincing.

I also notice an attempt recently by the same folks to suggest that there is some solid evidence to show a connection between site looting and market demand by claiming that "market saturation" has led to less demand and ergo a reduction in site looting in Iraq. The only "evidence" offered by Elizabeth Stone to back up this "clear linkage between the antiquities market...[and] site looting" is the anecdotal second hand rumor that "today cuneiform tablets, whether real or fake, are for sale in Lagos for only $10." Say what? That is the "clear linkage," the smoking gun?

How do they account for the fact that little or none of this material is making its way into Western markets? If anything, there is less such material for sale which means that both demand and prices have probably gone UP, not down. Someone really needs to call them on this.