Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Artifacts on eBay Every Day

Auction Giant's Policy: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, foundation cones and other objects that are being offered for auction this moment on eBay. Thieves stole thousands of such objects from the Iraq Museum and continue to strip mine Iraq's archaeological sites for more. However, there is no warning on eBay about new global efforts to hunt down black market dealers and collectors in order to recover these artifacts. In April, 2003, Kevin Pursglove, a spokesman for eBay said it's possible items stolen from Iraq could end up on eBay, but eBay can't check every single sale on its site. "If an item like this appears on eBay and we are approached by the authorities, then we would remove the item from auction," he said. The company has 114 million registered members worldwide, and derives its income from fees charged to the sellers.

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