There was a sobering article in the New York Times this weekend about the destruction and looting of African artifacts and archeological sites, primarily in Mali. The author, Holland Cotter, notes that in addition to good old fashioned looting, Al Qaeda-related Islamist groups are destroying sites on fundamentalist religious grounds. He outlines the movement by prominent archaeologists, beginning in the late 1970s, to boycott and shame dealers and owners of illegally acquired artifacts. Sylvester Ogbechie’s book Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art was referenced, to illustrate a hopeful trend of legal and well-documented African art collections.
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