Graft and security issues feed the trade in Iraq’s past

Graft and security issues feed the trade in Iraq’s past

Do you want to buy a more than 5,000-year-old Sumerian tablet, listed as the property of a gentleman from Sussex in England and passed down as a family heirloom? On auction site liveauctioneers.com, bidding for the Sumerian clay tablet starts at 550 pounds ($750). The item weighs just 70 grams (2.5 ounces) but bears traces of cuneiform writing — the oldest recorded in the world — and is listed as “Property of a West Sussex, UK, gentleman”. This example comes with letters of provenance by experts. But the ownership history of some such objects can be harder to
Do you want to buy a more than 5,000-year-old Sumerian tablet, listed as the property of a gentleman from Sussex in England and passed down as a family heirloom? On auction site liveauctioneers.com, bidding for the Sumerian clay tablet starts at 550 pounds ($750). The item weighs just 70 grams (2.5 ounces) but bears traces of cuneiform writing — the oldest recorded in the world — and is listed as “Property of a West Sussex, UK, gentleman”. This example comes with letters of provenance by experts. But the ownership history of some such objects can be harder to