Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Antiquity Looted by U.S. Military Up for Auction

How embarrassing. Thanks to Paul Barford for blogging about it first: Gallery 63 is auctioning off a 4,000 year old Shang Dynasty sword that was apparently "acquired" by a member of the U.S. military from one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Unfortunately, incidences of U.S. military members looting and selling antiquities are not unheard of; Larry Rothfield wrote briefly about antiquities being sold on military bases in The Rape of Mesopotamia. However, considering there is now a whole government initiative to make amends for severely messing up with that whole ransacking of the Iraq National Museum thing (the Iraq Cultural Heritage Initiative), you would think U.S. military troops would be more savvy about leaving things where they find them. Please and thank you, current troops.


  1. Meg,
    Hope you are having a great internship with SAFE. I'm happy to see your following Art Theft Central. Just a note, the Museum Security Network's former moderator Ton Cremers was the first to turn the blogosphere onto the Shang Dynasty sword ( Best of luck engaging your fellow university students in these discussions.
    Mark Durney

  2. Hey Mark! Thank you for bringing that to my attention!