"UNESCO is determined to do whatever is needed to document and protect the heritage of Iraq and lead the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural artifacts, which directly contributes to the financing of terrorism..."
The UNESCO director general Irina Bokova as quoted in an AFP piece in the Taipei Times today.
It just goes to show that Lord Elgin knew what he was doing in Greece with the Ottoman Turks in charge. If I was in Bokova's position I would try to arrange for the purchase or else the extra-legal removal of valuable historical relics from, let us say, "vulnerable" territories. The various nationalists in those countries can scream all they want in years to come, but it doesn't matter: it is the only reasonable thing to do.