Friday, April 3, 2009

Looters Damage Priceless Artifacts

Article from Turkish press. Are there no lengths to which looters will go in an attempt to get things to sell on the black market for money? This just makes me sick. Historical artifacts damaged in Mersin MERSİN - It is reported that several historical artifacts, including reliefs, have been damaged in the Kızkalesi district of Mersin by treasure-hunters using dynamite. According to a statement posted on the Mersin University Klikia Archeological Research Center’s Web site, 11 niches in the Şeytan Valley, where reliefs are carved into the rock walls, were damaged by exploding dynamite. A member of the university’s archaeology department, Associated Professor Murat Durukan, claimed they looters had sabotaged not just Turkey’s, but also whole world’s cultural heritage. He said on the Web site: "The situation we experienced here in Mersin is not different to the destruction of historical artifacts in Afghanistan. Being indifferent to this event will damage our country’s image. The authorities should appoint a guard in this place for 24 hours to stop this insanity." Talking to the Anatolia news agency, Durukan said hey had informed police about the incident that happened ten days ago. "The Adamkayalar (the rocks in shape of men) go back to the third century B.C. It is a commemoration ceremony area. These reliefs were made to commemorate important people, mostly Kings, soldiers and priest of that time." Mersin Culture and Tourism District Manager Mehmet Çalışkan said they were aware of the incident. "We already launched an investigation to catch the people who did the damage to this area."

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