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INDIANA JOAN: 95-year-old accused of looting Middle East tombs


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#1 noodle

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 11:57 PM

A 95-year-old Australian woman has found herself at the centre of an international row over her collection of ancient Middle Eastern artefacts.

Joan Howard, the wife of a UN diplomat, used her travel to the region to join archaeology digs in the 60s and 70s.

But a recent profile in The West Australian newspaper, showcasing her extensive collection, prompted outrage.

Archaeologists have called for an investigation into her collection of cultural artefacts.

The Australian Associated Press reports that the country's Department of Foreign Affairs is now looking into the matter.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the director-general of the Retrieved Antiquities Department at Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Egypt's foreign ministry had requested the investigation.

"We want to investigate how these pieces made it out of Egypt illegally," he told the newspaper.

Despite the controversy, it is not clear if Mrs Howard broke any national or international laws.

The original profile piece, published in early November by The West Australian, nicknamed Mrs Howard "Indiana Joan" after Harrison Ford's fictional globetrotting archaeologist.

It called her Australia's "real life tomb raider" who had "a mischievous twinkle" in her eye when talking about her collection - which it said is worth more than A$1m (£571,000).

Objects in the collection include a funeral mask from an Egyptian mummy, Neolithic axe heads dating back 40,000 years, Roman weapons, and coins and jewellery from ancient Egypt.

"Through her husband's UN connections, over 11 years she was given carte blanche to travel between Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel," the newspaper reported.

"She used her diplomatic freedom to search for antiquities before laws changed and it became legally difficult to do so," it added.


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#2 SouthernComfort

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:45 AM

Go granny go. :)



#3 bmo

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:15 PM

Some people are always looking for a deal no matter what they touch...


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#4 noodle

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:35 AM

Some people are always looking for a deal no matter what they touch...

 

Another source called her "Lara Croft, The Tomb Raider"


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