- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

PARIS (AP) - Stone tablets and terracotta seals, ivory sculptures and copper vessels. Antiquities experts from around the world are banding together to try and protect Iraqi cultural objects at risk of trafficking.

The International Council of Museums held a gathering Monday at Paris’ Louvre Museum ahead of a global conference on Iraq to establish what it calls a “Red List” of artifacts in danger. The list doesn’t include specifics but spells out categories of objects dating back thousands of years. The hope is to put potential buyers on guard.

The Islamic State group’s capture of the Syrian city Palmyra has strengthened concerns for priceless antiquities. The group says the relics promote idolatry, but it also maintains a lucrative business by excavating and selling artifacts on the black market, according to antiquities authorities.

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