By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
ISIS makes about $100 million a year stealing and then selling off ancient art and archeological artifacts. It is a major source of their annual budget. It is so significant that ill begotten art sales equal about 1/3 of their oil revenues.
ISIS has raided museums and historical sites throughout Iraq and
Syria. They strip the sites and sell the artifacts and even pieces of statues on the open market where collectors, through middle men of course, gobble them up. The buyers are willing to pay very good money for these priceless pieces.
The Secretary of Interpol, General Jurgen Stock, has said that his agency is now going to make
stopping the sale of these artifacts by ISIS a priority.
"In the eyes of criminals, cultural heritage often stands as an easy target," Stock said. "The current situation in Syria and Iraq presents a significant challenge as sites vulnerable to destruction are often out of effective government control and illicit excavations dominate the picture."
We can only hope that Interpol and other law enforcement agencies in the Western world can stop ISIS from destroying and desecrating priceless pieces of history and that, by clamping down on this illicit activity they will eliminate a very profitable avenue of revenue for ISIS.
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