SYRIAN ANTIQUITY FOUND ON SALE FOR HUGE PRICE IN LONDON
After being told that antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq may be on sale in Britain, Channel 4’s Dispatches program sent two academics undercover to pose as collectors.
Augusta McMahon, a senior lecturer in archaeology at Cambridge, and Alessio Palmisano, from University College London, wore hidden cameras as they browsed upscale London Mayfair antiques shops.
During a visit to a shop owned by Elias Assad, a dealer in Middle Eastern and Islamic antiquities, they spotted an ornate 6 ft piece of carved stone that they recognized as a lintel. The academics suspected that it originated from Syria.
Assad originally quoted a price of £50,000, but when McMahon and Palmisano returned several weeks later, he said the owner of the antiquity had agreed to drop the price.