Please save Iraqi heritage and stop blood money

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From Dr Emily Porter

Please stop the trade of Mesopotamian antiquities and artefacts which is generating blood money.

Mesopotamian (which includes Iraq , Syria, part of Turkey and Jordan) artefacts are of critical importance, not only for the region but the heritage of the whole world because they are more than 5,000 years old.

This illicit trade in stolen artefacts could be worth 7-10 billion dollars worldwide and is possibly second to the arms and drugs trade. In Iraq, the artefacts are going through neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Jordan and then passing through transit countries that act as markets, final destinations might include US, UK and Switzerland.

We are asking the UK government and European parliaments to:-

Consider the trade in Iraqi antiquities a criminal offence and implement the UN Council Resolution 2199 of 2015.

I recently went to Iraq to discuss the situation with the Deputy Secretary of State for Culture and the Deputy Secretary of State for Heritage and Antiquities, we had a very serious and important meeting and they asked for our support and help.  We discussed the following which needs to be implemented:-

Set up a database of artefacts (demolished and remaining) and all sites.

Register all sites and have a trained police force to protect them.

However, the Iraqi Authorities are lacking the expertise and resources to do this as ISIS occupies some of the sites so are not under the control of the Iraqi government.  If there is no demand for these ancient antiquities then there will be no supply.

Please see a recent article published in the Guardian written by Dr Mark Altaweel, Archaeologist at UCL, Institute of Archeology, London.

'British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis'

When Mark Altaweel agreed to hunt for ‘blood antiquities’ in London dealerships, he was expecting more of a challenge. But as the archaeologist discovered, relics from the ruins of Palmyra and Nimrud are now on display in British shops – and so far no-one has worked out how to stop it.  To read this article please visit

Now we would like your support to condemn this destruction of our heritage and add your name and signature to our list of supporters.