Thursday, May 19, 2011

Israel Accuses U.S. Man of Antiquities Trafficking

Judge Waddoups says looting and disrespectful treatment of archaeological sites, including 'injun' burial sites is OK in Utah, so it need not surprise us that when some Utahans go abroad, they see nothing wrong with supporting destructive local looting and grave robbing. The Israel Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that they had arrested a U.S. tour guide, 'educator' and author from Utah on suspicion of trafficking antiquities stolen from Israel and attempting to smuggle antiques valued at tens of thousands of dollars out of the country. John Lund, is accused of selling stolen artifacts to tour groups he led in Israel, and was detained on Monday night at Israel’s international airport as he was trying to leave the country as a result of a joint Israeli Antiquities Authority and customs operation.

The antiquities authority said in a statement that he had stolen ancient coins in his possession and checks totaling more than $20,000 believed to be from the illegal sales of ancient coins, clay oil lamps, and glass and pottery vessels. Lund was allowed to leave after posting a $7,500 bond meant to guarantee he will return to stand trial, said Shai Bar Tura, deputy director of the authority’s theft prevention unit. Bar Tura said formal charges are expected.

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