Alistair MacDonald

Syrian Antiquities Victim to ISIS Laundering

Although ISIS has recently been losing its territorial grip, the trade in stolen art and cultural artifacts directed by the organization seems to be booming, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.

Objects looted from Iraq and Syria typically undergo a tortuous journey en route to destinations in Europe and the United States with dealers fabricating false paper trails for works and that are then hidden in storage.

It is anticipated that many such works will kept from public view for a decade or more in an attempt to "launder" them before they are introduced to the broader art market. Even after the illicit trade slows, the effort to identify and repatriate stolen artwork from the region will likely extend far into the future.