You are currently browsing the daily archive for 09/04/2009.

“GARDAÍ GOT much more than they expected when they recovered goods stolen in a burglary in Strokestown, Co Roscommon.  Nestling in the haul – discovered during a Garda search at a property in Dublin – was a gold lunula and two gold sun discs. The discovery of the previously unrecorded gold artefacts was described as “highly important” by the National Museum of Ireland.”

See Irish Times article here.

Sadly the tale of theft of priceless antiques and archaeological plunder still goes on. One could ask what on earth a pharmicist is doing with two gold sun discs and a lunula locked up in his safe, but of course that would be too naive. Luckily they have been recovered by the Gardai, and though presumably provenance is lost and we may never know where they were found, at least they should end up in a museum at last.

“Under the National Monuments Act, any artefacts discovered should be surrendered to the State through the National Museum of Ireland. Garda sources indicated that there was not expected to be any prosecution under the Act. The items are to be brought to the National Museum of Ireland.”

For a further perspective on this matter see the blog of Archaeologist Paul Barford

This fascinating tale goes on, gathering its own folklore along the way…

 http://www.independent.ie/national-news/discovery-of-forgotten-relics-reads-like-plot-from-indiana-jones-film-1706541.html

Although our focus is on Britain and Ireland it is appropriate to bear in mind the incalculable damage that is being done elsewhere. Six years ago, April 10-13 2003, a hurricane of looting was unleashed in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad, one that then roared all over the country to Iraq’s archaeological sites, the cradle of civilisation, destroying the memories of mankind in order to supply thousands of “respectable” middle class collectors in Europe and the USA, a process that is continuing unabated today.

Here is a video in which Dr Donny George Youkhanna , former Director General of the museum, provides a remarkably powerful and moving witness statement on the events and asks that everyone should demand an end to the looting and destruction of the world’s cultural heritage to feed the demand of those that wish to have it for themselves.

It is important to keep in mind this is not just something that is happening far away. Currently there are thousands of people who go out into the fields of Britain every weekend to take our memories for themselves, or to sell. 

Some hobby! Just because it’s British and (uniquely in the world) legal here doesn’t make it morally different from what is happening in Iraq – destruction of Mankind’s memories for personal gratification or a few grubby euros or American dollars…

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