Italian Mafia Trades Arms-for-Art With ISIS in Libya

Still from supposed Islamic State video showing militants destroying artifacts in Iraq's Unesco World Heritage city of Hatra.
Still from supposed Islamic State video showing militants destroying artifacts in Iraq's Unesco World Heritage city of Hatra.
(YouTube)

Domenico Quirico, a journalist from La Stampa newspaper, recently went undercover as an art collector to expose how looted antiquities are being traded in support of ISIS. Italy’s Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, working with the Neapolitan Camorra criminal gang, has an illicit art-for-weapons ring with jihadists that has been very active for months in Southern Italy.

Daily Beast's Barbie Latza Nadeau writes, "...Italian criminal gangs reportedly acquire the artifacts from jihadi tomb raiders in Libya in exchange for a wide range of weaponry, including Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades that the Camorra have in great supply from a long-standing arms-trafficking racket with Russia, Moldova, and the Ukraine."

The loot is "brought into Italy on Chinese-flagged cargo ships coming from Sirte to the Calabria port of Gioia Tauro" and then sold to unscrupulous private collectors.

On Monday, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed La Stampa’s reporting. “We have studied the ‘GDP of terror’ and we know that one of the components is the commercialization of stolen art,” he told reporters. “The stolen artifacts feed ISIS and contribute to the GDP of terror.”

More News Feed Headlines

William Langenheim (American, born Germany, Schöningen 1807-1874) and Frederick Langenheim (American, born Germany, Schöningen 1809-1879), Eclipse of the Sun, 1854, Daguerreotype.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005.

A Peek at Rare 1854 Solar Eclipse Images, and a Full Look at the Friedman Collection of Photography

  • August 17, 2017 14:12

The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns the only surviving images of the solar eclipse that occurred ...

Read More

Sandycombe Lodge, 1814, W.  B.  Cooke after William Havell - Tate Britain.

After $3.5 Million Renovation, JMW Turner's Picturesque Cottage Opens to Visitors

  • August 16, 2017 20:21

In 1813 England’s great landscape painter JMW Turner built a small villa, Sandycombe Lodge, on a ...

Read More

Staff members evaluate the recovered de Kooning.

Stolen De Kooning Painting Returned to Museum After 3 Decades

  • August 15, 2017 12:55

A Willem de Kooning painting that had been stolen more than 31 years ago from the University of ...

Read More

Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Da Vinci in Film Adaptation of Walter Isaacson Book

  • August 14, 2017 22:59

Paramount won a seven-figure bidding battle against Universal for the film rights to the latest ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire