Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hawlati: Sidad Barzani confiscates an ancient sculpture


On November 19th, 2009, the Kurdish bi-weekly Hawlati reported that Mr. Sidad Barzani, the brother of Kurdistan regional president Masoud Barzani, confiscated an ancient sculpture found by a citizen in the village of Hesne of Barzan region.

An informed source in Barzan region who spoke to Hawlati on the condition of anonymity said: “a citizen in our village [Hesne], which affiliates with Barzan region, found an ancient and antique sculpture when he was farming in his land. After the disclosure of information regarding the sculpture, Mr. Sidad Barzani confiscated the sculpture from the citizen in return of a sum of money. Mr. Sidad still has the carving and hasn’t returned it to the museum.”

The same source stated that “the site in which the carving was found is now fenced and no one is allowed to approach it.”

Abdulsalam Barzani, the former mayor of Barzan, currently revoked from his office when he decided to slate independently of KDP in the last parliamentary elections of KRG, told Hawlati that he has “heard about the sculpture form locals and has seen the pictures of it.”

Mr. Abdulsalam added that “most of the archaeological sties in the Barzan region are prone to searching for valuable carvings, especially the ancient cemeteries.”

Later on November 23rd, 2009, Hawlati reported that when the news was published about the confiscation of the sculpture, the movement of protecting the archeological sites in Kurdistan demanded Mr. Sidad in an official letter, which Hawlati received a copy, to handover the carving the archeological museum. The letter also stated that the carving belongs to the people of Kurdistan and no one has right to confiscate it, and if Mr. Sidad fails to return the sculpture, the movement will inform United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNISCO).