Syria: How Ancient Artifacts Are Being Traded for Guns | TIME.com

The badly damaged outer gate of Aleppo's Citadel.

The badly damaged outer gate of Aleppo‘s Citadel.

Abu Khaled knows the worth of things. As a small-time smuggler living along the porous border between Syria and Lebanon, he has dabbled in antiquities as much as the cigarettes, stolen goods and weapons that make up the bulk of his trade. So when a smuggler from Syria brought him a small, alabaster statue of a seated man a few weeks ago, he figured that the carving, most likely looted from one of Syria’s two dozen heritage museums or one of its hundreds of archaeological sites, could be worth a couple thousand dollars in Lebanon’s antiquities black market. So he called his contacts in Beirut. But instead of asking for cash, he asked for something even more valuable: weapons.

More at TIME.com – via http://artsislamica.com
Also read: Archaeological Heritage of Syria in Danger

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