people & power
Blood Antiquities
Is the murky trade in stolen antiquities helping to fund the Taliban?
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2010 17:31 GMT
Are Afghanistan's ancient treasures being sold to fund the Taliban? [GALLO/GETTY]

People are not the only casualties of war. Sometimes it can be their history too.

It has become increasingly easy to illegally export ancient artifacts, and Afghanistan's rich and diverse cultural heritage is being plundered to supply the glamorous and very lucrative European art trade.

With much of the country's countryside in turmoil, Afghan customs officials are easily bribed and European collectors are turning a blind eye.

Many ancient pieces end up in Brussels, the Belgian capital, because laws to stop their trade are not being fully enforced. 

What is also now clear is that not all the sellers of Afghan antiquities are ordinary people desperate for money. It seems the Taliban may be actively sourcing these treasures to fund their war against the US and Nato.

This episode of People & Power airs from Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530.

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