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…