Blog Profile / Looting Matters

Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:1148
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The Tiberius and the Drusus heads

Tiberius and Drusus. Source: PIASA Documented collecting histories are important. The portrait heads of Drusus Minor and Tiberius excavated at Sessa Aurunca have parallel histories.Both passed through the sale of PIASA in Paris on 17-18 March 2003, lot 569, and 29 September 2004, lot 340. Show More Summary

The Drusus and Tiberius portraits from Sessa Aurunca

Drusus Minor. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art The return of the head of Drusus Minor to Italy from the Cleveland Museum of Art has been in part thanks to the diligent research of Giuseppe Scarpati. He has discovered the photographicShow More Summary

Cleveland Museum of Art to return portrait of Drusus

Drusus. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art In 2012 the Cleveland Museum of Art purchased a portrait head of Drusus that was reported to be from "an old Algerian collection" (see earlier report). The head had been purchased from PhoenixShow More Summary

Attic amphora handed back to Italians

Image from Becchina Archive The research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has led to the return of an Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Harrow painter, to Italy (Tom Mashberg, "Stolen Etruscan Vessel to Be Returned to Italy", New...Show More Summary

Seizures and a New York Gallery

Source: Becchina Archive A New York Gallery seems to have been linked to a number of seized or returning objects: Attic red-figured Nolan amphora (Feb 2017) Roman sarcophagus fragment (Jan 2017) Attic red-figured krater (handled in 1980 and 2005) The two pieces seized in 2017 were identified from the Becchina archive. Show More Summary

Attic amphora from 'old Swiss collection' seized in New York

Source: Becchina archive I understand that an Attic red-figured Nolan amphora attributed to the Harrow painter was seized from a New York Gallery on Friday. It shows a satyr with thyrsos.The amphora features in Royal-Athena Galleries, Art of the Ancient World xxvii (2016) no. Show More Summary

More surfacings from Symes and Medici in London

Source: Schinousa Archive. Dr Christos Tsirogiannis spotted three items that were auctioned in Westminster, London today.It is a good reminder of the apparently poor due diligence process conducted by some sectors of the antiquities market.a. Show More Summary

Is PAS transforming our knowledge of the past in England and Wales?

There is a new online book, Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, edited by Gabriel Moshenska (UCL Press, 2017) [Introduction]. Among the essays (and not all have been published on the site: I am told that there will be second batch) is...Show More Summary

The value of looting in Syria

Rick Noack has written a piece on the funding of IS ("The Islamic State’s ‘business model’ is failing, study says", Washington Post 17 February 2017) based on a report by London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation...Show More Summary

Sarcophagus fragment: Greece, Basel, and New York

Source: Becchina archive One month ago I was informed that a sarcophagus fragment had been seized from a New York gallery. The identification of the piece with an image in the Becchina archive had been made by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.It...Show More Summary

Weeting Castle and metal-detecting

Weeting Castle © David Gill It has been reported that metal-detectorists have been investigating the area around the English Heritage property of Weeting Castle in Norfolk (Rebecca Murphy, "Reports of illegal metal detecting near the...Show More Summary

New York dealer returns sarcophagus to Greece

Source: Becchina Archive Back in January I reported that a sarcophagus identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis from the Becchina archive had been seized from a gallery in New York.Today there has been a ceremony in New York with the Hellenic Consul General. The sarcophagus was spotted in the Royal-Athena Galleries.Further details in the Greek press.

Revisiting Cycladic figures

Looking forward to seminar on Cycladic figures in Cambridge tomorrow: value, forgeries, Keros, returns — David Gill (@davidwjgill) February 8, 2017 I will be presenting a seminar on Cycladic figures to the Aegean Archaeology Seminar in Cambridge on Thursday 9 February. Show More Summary

Setting high ethical standards for collecting antiquities

Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask. Source: SLAM Victoria Reed, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has been discussing the need for due diligence in museums ("How should museums respond to art smuggling scandals?", Apollo January 24, 2017). Show More Summary

Operation Pandora

A selection of coins seized in Operation Pandora. Source: Europol. The Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH has reported that Operation Pandora has recovered some 3500 cultural objects including some 400 coins. 75 people are said to have been...Show More Summary

Further damage at Palmyra

ISIS fighters destroy part of Roman amphitheater in ancient city of Palmyra, Syrian state media reports. — CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 20, 2017 The BBC is reporting further damage at Palmyra ("Syria: IS destroys part of Palmyra amphitheatre", BBC News 20 January 2017). This includes the theatre (not amphitheatre) and the tetrapylon.

Intellectual Consequences of Forgeries

I attended the Second AHRC Workshop | Art, Crime and Criminals: Painting Fresh Pictures of Art Theft, Fraud and Plunder at RUSI in London yesterday. I was very struck that some of the issues that I have explored with Christopher Chippindale in our work on Cycladic sculptures were emerging for other works of art and from so many different cultures. Show More Summary

Sarcophagus fragment reported to have been seized

Image from Becchina archive. Source via Dr Christos Tsirogiannis I was in London for a conference today and was informed that US authorities seized a fragmentary sarcophagus in New York over the weekend. Full details have yet to be confirmed...Show More Summary

The Benin Bronzes in London

© David Gill I have commented on the acquisition of the Benin Bronzes before (see here). The display of what can only be interpreted as plunder as a result of the 1897 Benin Punitive Expedition sits uncomfortably in an internationally important encyclopaedic museum. Show More Summary

A sarcophagus passing through the Swiss market

Image from Becchina archive. Source via Dr Christos Tsirogiannis When an object has a recorded collecting history of the 'Swiss market' it is likely to draw attention to itself.I am grateful to Dr Christos Tsirogiannis for drawing my attention to a series of images from the Becchina archive that relate to a fragmentary Roman sarcophagus.

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