The Illicit Antiquities Trade Has Been a Problem For a Very Long Time…

06 Jul

So the question seems necessary: why are Moss/Baden suddenly interested in the sales of antiquities now and only and exclusively in relation to Hobby Lobby?  Where were they and where was their concern 5 or 10 years ago?  And why, again, the exclusive focus on Hobby Lobby?

One need merely consult Nina Burleigh’s really excellent ‘Unholy Business‘ to see what’s been going on in the world of antiquities trading.  So the rather interesting timing and focus of Moss/Baden’s concerns seem quite interesting indeed (from the point of view of motive).

People are, it has to be admitted, generally interested in things for a reason.  The folk at Hobby Lobby are interested in acquiring antiquities, even by shady and illegal means, for a reason; and Moss/Baden too have a reason for focusing on Hobby Lobby.  And it doesn’t seem to be simple academic concern for looted heritage (as is, by the way, Burleigh’s concern in her excellent volume).

I am forced to wonder why Moss/Baden care about Hobby Lobby’s dealings so much when, again, they don’t seem equally concerned for the dealings of other acquirers of antiquities.

To be precise, are they concerned about illegal activities vis-a-vis Iraqi antiquities, or are they concerned about Hobby Lobby?

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Posted by on 6 Jul 2017 in Modern Culture


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