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Re: [ANE-2] A plea to save Afghan and other war/looted antiquities

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  • Joe Zias
    During our unfortunate involvement in Lebanon in the 1980 s we in Israel were confronted with a similar problem involving the museum in Beirut which had been
    Message 1 of 2 , May 3, 2006
      During our unfortunate involvement in Lebanon in the 1980's we in Israel were confronted with a similar problem involving the museum in Beirut which had been taken over by opposing forces. These forces (Syrian) looted the museum and then changed into civilian clothing to prevent capture by us. In their military clothing were found objects looted from the museum with museum catalog numbers. Soldiers immediately turned them over to the Israel Antiquities Authority, we then contacted our colleagues in Beirut and a professor from the Hebrew University and I then traveled north to Sidon and returned them during the conflict to colleagues via a third party. We in the profession believed that, as many of us do now, that despite political differences that we share the same values when it comes to archaeological theft which is why we returned these objects to the museum in Beirut. What was interesting was that not only were soldiers involved in this but academics as well, sharing the same concerns.

      Joe Zias

      Francis Deblauwe <fdeblauwe@...> wrote: A plea to save Afghan antiquities
      As war and intolerance ruin the nation's treasures, a team of its
      scholars made a public appeal at Penn.

      By Andrew Maykuth

      Three decades of war have devastated Afghanistan's cultural heritage.
      The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, still busy fighting Islamic
      extremists more than four years after the Taliban were expelled, has
      devoted scant resources to protecting and restoring endangered heritage
      sites, American and Afghan scholars lamented at a recent conference at
      the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
      The Bactrian hoard has never been exhibited - it was discovered the
      year before the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and is too valuable
      to put on display in Kabul in the current political climate, the
      Afghans said. But as a bargaining chip for getting foreign assistance,
      the treasures may be one of Afghanistan's most valuable assets. Museum
      directors in Europe and America are maneuvering to host the treasures
      when they finally go on world tour.

      Francis Deblauwe, Lic., Ph.D.

      Director & Editor, The Iraq War & Archaeology
      An Archaeos, Inc., Documentation and Information Project
      Archaeos, Inc., New York, USA

      Research Associate / Director, IWA-Projekt
      Institut f�r Orientalistik, Universit�t Wien, Austria

      +1 (816) 943-6300

      The Iraq War & Archaeology -- http://www.archaeos.org/iwa or
      Academic Page of F. Deblauwe -- http://iwa.univie.ac.at/academic.html
      Writing Page of F. Deblauwe --

      Ceterum censeo Mesopotamiam antiquam muniendam esse.


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