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A bas-relief at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad. A bas-relief is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Sept. 15, 2014 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

How Facebook Made It Easier Than Ever to Traffic Middle Eastern Antiquities

, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

The Islamic State’s eagerness to profit from antiquities focused global attention on the illicit trafficking of cultural property. Yet the world’s understanding of how such trafficking unfolds remains limited. Today, thanks to Facebook and other social media tools, it is easier than ever to participate in a booming black market antiquities trade.

The instability that followed the Arab uprisings of 2010 and 2011 has given rise to some of the most devastating conflicts the Middle East has ever seen. Syria and Iraq, in particular, have suffered from the dismantling of state infrastructure and the expansion of terrorist and violent extremist organizations, most prominently the self-styled Islamic State. ...

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