In a press release by Men's Vogue magazine, a lead article by Hugh Eakin is described that looks like it deals with the looting of archaeological sites in Iraq. However, the magazine website does not yet list any info on the November/December issue. Has anyone seen a copy yet? If so, could you be so kind to pass on to me how relevant it really is to IW&A? I'll post your summary/review here if the article is interesting enough. Here are some quotes from the press release:
In the November/December issue of Men's Vogue, Hugh Eakin travels into a world of organized crime -- the underground antiquities business -- that has now taken on a violent new form in conflict-torn Iraq. Eakin visits Cerveteri, a site northwest of Rome, to watch Italian investigators from the Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, or TPC, at work. It is here that the TPC-the arm of the carabinieri charged with protecting Italy's cultural heritage-demonstrates an impressive reconnaissance mission to inspect a remote area that has been assaulted by tomb raiders, and displays a robust military operation that is now being tested against art theft, and possibly terrorist networks, in Iraq. ... [Eakin] writes, "some of the TPC's tactics are beginning to be applied in volatile regions like Iraq, where security experts suggest that looting maybe intertwined with terror networks." ... The recent news of Donny George, president of Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, resigning and fleeing the country only adds suspicion to a powerful black market. Eakin notes that George had been trying to station TPC-trained guards at Iraq's most important archaeological sites. But the TPC's commander, General Ugo Zottin, insists that any links between antiquities thieves and terrorist organizations "have to be tested in court." And for all of the TPC's high-profile recoveries throughout Italy with night raids, military helicopters, and hard-nosed detectives, former TPC chief Roberto Conforti insists that when it comes to cracking down on art theft in a war zone, "Iraq is another story."
• "Italy's Art Cops Target Iraq, Where Looting May Be Funding Terrorism - Men's Vogue Travels With the Carabinieri's Special Unit," in Yahoo! Finance, online, October 18, 2006
October 20, 2006