Home Foreign FBI warns U.S. art dealers about antiquities looted from Syria, Iraq

FBI warns U.S. art dealers about antiquities looted from Syria, Iraq


Washington – The FBI on Thursday in Washington urged art dealers in the U.S. to be careful when buying antiquities from the Middle East.
It said this became necessary because there was evidence that collectors had recently been offered artefacts plundered by Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, Manager of the FBI’s Art Theft Program, said that the looting of ancient artefacts across Iraq and Syria and their sales on the black market has become a source of funding for Islamic State militants.
She said that there was growing concern that those items were showing up in the Western marketplace.
“We now have credible reports that U.S. persons have been offered cultural property that appears to have been removed from Syria and Iraq recently.
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Magness-Gardiner urged collectors and buyers to be vigilant checking importation, provenance and other documents.
“What we’re trying to say is, don’t allow these pieces that could potentially support terrorism to be part of the trade.
She said that Islamic State had ransacked and looted some of the greatest archaeological sites in northern Iraq and Syria, posting fake photos and videos of fighters destroying pre-Islamic monuments and temples they consider idolatrous. (Reuters/NAN)

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