Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Eurocrats Find Little Evidence Terrorist Artifacts Entering Market, But that Does Not Stop Calls for Draconian Legislation
Ivan Maquisten writes that EU bureaucrats believe the absence of evidence that ISIS looted material is entering the market is reason for more draconian controls, not fewer. The bureaucratic thinking is that vast amounts of looted material must be entering the market unnoticed under current customs regimes. Of course, those who seek to justify draconian regulation will not consider the distinct possibility the extent of ISIS looting has been greatly overstated by Russian and Syrian propagandists and archaeological advocacy groups for their own purposes. Moreover, it does not help that the EU cultural bureaucracy-- like its US counterpart-- only considers archaeologists and foreign governments legitimate stakeholders in the issue. No wonder the cultural bureaucracy is so distrusted by collectors and the small businesses of the antiquities and numismatic trade.