Scholarship and insurgency? The study and trade of Iraqi antiquities.
Brodie, Neil. 2011. Scholarship and insurgency? The study and trade of Iraqi antiquities. In Illicit Traffic of Cultural Objects: Law, Ethics, and the Realities. An Institute of Advanced Studies Workshop, 4-5 August 2011, University of Western Australia.
This article explains why the academic study and publication of looted cuneiform tablets and incantation bowls in fact promotes the antiquities market. It also explores the possibility that this kind of academic involvement indirectly assists the activities of armed insurgents in the Near and Middle East, especially in Iraq. With reference to selected cases of unprovenanced antiquities, the article names dealers and auction houses that offered these objects for sale and discusses the three major private collections in the world acquiring such material in recent years.