October 5, 2009

Fallout from Utah artifacts raid continues

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When the FBI raided Blanding, UT this summer to seize a trove of Indian artifacts collected by local residents, it set off a chain of events of mythic proportion. Indeed, the sting operation that uncovered the black market for stolen antiquities was called “Cerberus Action” after the multi-headed dog in Greek Mythology that stood guard over the underworld, according to Helen O’neill of the Associated Press.

The raid pit ancient traditions against cultural norms, best friends against each other, the local law against federal, grave robbers against legitimate antiquities traders.  It resulted in deaths, and ruined lives, lost fortunes and sacred relics reclaimed.

O’neill takes a thoughtful, thorough look at all sides in this drama, which is still unfolding.

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