THE LOOTING OF IRAQI ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS AND SUPPORT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH TO REGULATING THE ANTIQUITIES MARKET[dagger]

By Patron, Raisa E. | The George Washington International Law Review, March 15, 2008 | Go to article overview

THE LOOTING OF IRAQI ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS AND SUPPORT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH TO REGULATING THE ANTIQUITIES MARKET[dagger]


Patron, Raisa E., The George Washington International Law Review


I. INTRODUCTION

Professor Ahmed Abdullah Faddam, professor of Sculpture at Baghdad's College of Fine Arts, asserted the importance of culture and stated the following: "What can you do with a man who is ignorant and doesn't have any culture? He is just like a dead man."1 Professor John Malcolm Russell, professor of Art History at the Massachusetts College of Art, articulated the implications of this "dead man" as follows:

He is also a very dangerous man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled with dross. Having a past, having a sense of who we are, allows us to measure ourselves against what political demagogues or market forces say we should be. These are the ones with no use for the past. That's why they burn books, either literally as in Nazi bonfires or figuratively in the blinding glow of the television screen. Without a sense of our past as the core of who we are, we risk being whatever we're told we are.2

The key to preventing a world of empty vessels is the archaeological process and the study of items of the past.3 The skeletons of previous civilizations, the antiquities and artifacts found during archaeological excavations, are testimonies of history and culture.4 These objects connect the past with the present.5 Without these objects, mankind is devoid of history and culture, and thus risks becoming a "dead man."6

With over ten thousand officially registered archaeological sites7 and an unknown amount of sites yet to be discovered,8 Iraq is a nation with rich archaeological inheritance. Its inheritance is significant not only in quantity but also in quality.9 Many commonly perceive Iraq as the "Cradle of Civilization"10 and home to "the obligatory list of 'firsts' (the first cities, the first monumental architecture, the first writing . . . )."n Iraq has great potential to give meaning to the history and culture of mankind.12

This potential is at risk amidst the turmoil in Iraq.13 Looters unlawfully extract and steal artifacts from Iraq's archaeological sites and sell them on an illegitimate market.14 The looters are motivated by the opportunity for quick cash15 and "value the past solely as a source of collectible commodities."16 They undervalue history and culture, disrupt the archaeological process, and put society at risk of becoming empty vessels.17

This Note addresses the current nation-wide looting of Iraq's numerous archaeological sites and the domestic legislative steps to be taken in response to the recent upsurge in looting. Current laws prohibit unauthorized export of antiquities and vest ownership of all antiquities in the Iraqi government.18 The long-term effects of these laws on the illicit antiquities market and the looting of archaeological sites are limited.19 Part II of this Note discusses the antiquities market, the looting to supply the market, and current legislative attempts at controlling the market. It begins with an overview of the international antiquities market and then highlights Iraq's significant role in the market due to the quantity and quality of its antiquities. Subsequently, Part II addresses the evolution of looting from a custom of war and colonialism to the source of supply for the illicit antiquities market. Today, economic strife and political unrest exacerbate the profit-driven looting market.20 These effects can specifically be seen in the current socio-political state of Iraq.21 Part II further discusses domestic legislative attempts to control the market and reduce looting. It illustrates the global public interest in structuring effective regulations and distinguishes the two contrasting theories that underpin culturalproperty laws: cultural internationalism and cultural nationalism. Cultural internationalism promotes international ownership of antiquities and upholds the international value of antiquities.22 In contrast, cultural nationalism protects national ownership of antiquities and the values associated with national ownership. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

THE LOOTING OF IRAQI ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS AND SUPPORT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH TO REGULATING THE ANTIQUITIES MARKET[dagger]
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.