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Do Socialites Fund Terrorism?

Antiquities cop on the beat.


A ntiquities collectors “who have never had to have a criminal defense attorney on speed dial,” be warned: Matthew Bogdanos, a Manhattan prosecutor and Marine reserve colonel, is coming for you. Bogdanos led the mission to recover looted artifacts in Iraq in 2003, only to discover that some pieces had come to New York. In the afterword for the paperback of his book, Thieves of Baghdad, Bogdanos argues that terrorist groups raise money by selling artifacts. “The genteel patina covering the world of antiquities rests atop a solid base of criminal activity,” he writes. He blasts the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and its powerhouse donors like Shelby White, whose vast collection of Greek and Roman treasures has been criticized for having pieces of no known origin. Met spokesman Harold Holzer denied the allegations and calls Bogdanos “self-aggrandizing.” White, traveling in Asia, couldn’t be reached.

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