Stolen from US history: its artifactsBreaking News
In Italy, they are called tombaroli - tomb raiders - and punished with decade-long jail sentences and million-dollar fines.
In America, they plunder virtually unnoticed, stripping parks and historical sites of their cultural bounty without fear of getting caught.
Indeed, US officials say the brazen looting of ancient native-American artifacts, Civil War mementos, and other valuable relics is reaching epidemic proportions. In any given year, cultural thieves make off with $500 million in relics, the FBI estimates. On National Park Service land alone, they strike on average once a day.
"This is on a scale where it's radically affecting our ability to understand the past," says Martin McAllister, an independent archaeologist who has investigated over 200 damaged sites for state and federal departments. "We're talking a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise here."
comments powered by Disqus
- Historian David Kaiser says the most exciting day of his life was JFK’s election
- Michael Bliss, Historian Who Dispelled Myths of Insulin’s Discovery, Dies at 76
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools