Looting, Loss, and the Casualties of War

In the ancient world as today, art objects and architectural monuments were and are often destroyed, lost, looted, stolen, or damaged during periods of conflict.  In the past two decades, looting and theft have been ongoing issues for the international community as military conflicts have waxed and waned across the Near and Middle East.  Many monuments have been destroyed or damaged.  Museums have been looted.  Priceless artifacts have been violently damaged, destroyed, stolen, or lost.  Questions now circle about the role the black market for looted antiquities may be playing in the funding of various militant organizations.  A team of students have taken on this issue, asking, among other questions:

  • How can or should the international community respond to and/or prevent looting?
  • Can the international community impact or lessen sales (black market or otherwise) of looted objects?
  • What international or national organization(s) should take the lead on these issues? What form(s) should that leadership take?
  • What responsibility do cultural institutions (museums, galleries, universities, etc.) have regarding the market on looted objects? What steps should they take to address this issue in regards to their own collection practices?

Alex Thomason

Near and Middle East   Ancient artifacts have been subject to looting over many years. According to Ursula Lindsey with ...
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Looting of Ancient Artifacts Continues in the Near Middle East

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Looting in the Near and Middle East

The Guardian: Photograph: Sandro Vannini/SCA Sandro Vannini/Supreme Council of Antiquities Throughout history there has always been a want and a ...
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Looting: The Destruction of History

 Throughout the history of mankind, cultures have looted from other  societies. Whether it be at times of conflict, or after ...
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Looting The Ancient Middle East

When asked about the war in the Middle East, ancient dig sites aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to ...
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Resolving Looting in the Near and Middle East

There are a lot of issues concerning the Middle East, but many do not realize that one of the major ...
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Looting Issues in the Near and Middle East

Looting of artifacts within the Middle East has long since been an issue that appears to have no foreseeable resolution ...
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Looting, Loss, and the Casualties of War: Bibliography

These articles were those assigned to the class as a whole, and that this team of investigators used as their ...
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Looting in the Near and Middle East

Looting in the Near and Middle East https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r0ZTN6ZoM4 http://www.unesco.org/new/en/safeguarding-syrian-cultural-heritage/ The act of looting seems to stem from the outbreak of ...
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