Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
At some point in your busy schedule make a note to read the important material posted this week on the Daily Howler regarding past and current press spinning of the Bush military record. Bob Somerby’s site is a must read for anyone appalled by the Bush costume sea drama and the press glorification of it.

God of the Sea

Poseidon, 160AD
Iraq Museum Collection

According to reports from the VOA and the BBC, Attorney General John Ashcroft has contradicted General Tommy Franks (see April 28, 2003 post) by telling an Interpol conference in Lyon, France that; “criminal gangs were likely behind the looting of historical treasures during the war in Iraq…Regardless of how sophisticated these criminals are... the US law enforcement and our colleagues at Interpol will not rest until the stolen Iraqi artifacts are returned to their rightful place: the public museums and libraries of Iraq,"

The New York Times says, “a top British Museum official said yesterday that his Iraqi counterparts told him they had largely emptied display cases at the National Museum in Baghdad months before the start of the Iraq war, storing many of the museum's most precious artifacts in secure "repositories"…The official, John E. Curtis, curator of the Near East Collection at the British Museum, said he believed that American authorities now knew the locations of the artifact repositories but that as a precaution against further looting were not disclosing them.” has several interesting articles related to the Iraq Museum including the initial results of this past weekend’s Middle Eastern Art and Manuscript auction at Sotheby’s of London:

Fears that the market for Islamic art had been fatally weakened by the 11 September terrorist attacks and the Iraqi war were thoroughly trounced here on 29 and 30 April...two vastly rich Middle-Eastern buyers- Sheikh Saud al-Thani of Qatar and Sheikh Nasser of Kuwait- dominate this market...compete fiercely for the best pieces and have forced some to quite astonishing heights.
Sheikh al-Thani was assumed to be the anonymous telephone bidder who paid £1.12 million ($1.79 million) for an exquisite 13th-century Persian pencase, and £901,250 for a Hispano-Mauresque gilt-bronze fountainhead in the form of a cockerel...For many of the lots there were three, four or even more bidders, both on the telephone and in the room, prepared to go to high levels.

Photo: TheArtNewspaper

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