FBI Warns Art Dealers About Islamic State-Stolen Antiquities From Ancient Sites
Art dealers and collectors can consider themselves officially warned: Artifacts and antiquities from the Middle East may have been stolen from ancient sites in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State group, the FBI said in an alert issued Wednesday. Reports of the Islamic State group’s involvement in looting such sites and selling plundered artifacts emerged as far back as a year ago.
“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,” Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, manager of the FBI’s Art Theft Program, said in a statement. The stolen pieces range from coins and pottery to stones, jewelry and bowls, and are laid out in detail in a Red List by the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The alert came just days after the Islamic State group – also known as ISIS or ISIL – said it destroyed the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria, a Unesco World Heritage site dating back millennia. Read more.