'Blood antiquities': a wound the world struggles to staunch




 
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June 10th, 2015  
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Topic: 'Blood antiquities': a wound the world struggles to staunch


By Mark John PARIS (Reuters) - Off a corridor at world culture agency UNESCO's star-shaped Paris headquarters, a modest office with potted plants and three small desks has become the war room in the fight against looted antiquities from Iraq and Syria. "UNESCO has no blue helmets," its deputy heritage director Mechtild Rossler told Reuters, using the common jargon for United Nations' peacekeepers. "We work with three people... So what do you want us to do?" Islamic State's pillaging of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, video of museum statues and carvings destroyed in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and now the seizure of the Syrian heritage site of Palmyra have underscored the world's impotence at saving some of its most precious archaeological treasures.




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