Blog Profile / Looting Matters

Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:1084
Posts / Week:2.7
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

ISIS and The Missing Treasures

Reporter Simon Cox investigates the looting and subsequent sale of antiquities from Syria in this episode of Channel 4's Dispatches (18 April 2016). The programme discusses a lintel known to have come from Syria and on offer in London; a manuscript in Copenhagen; and an intercepted consignment.The programme can be viewed here for the next 29 days.

Lintel from Syria for sale in London

Reporter Simon Cox talked about one of the objects from Syria that he identified for sale in London on BBC Radio 4 Today (18 April 2016; 2:53).Despite their stated aim of destroying ancient cultural heritage, the so-called Islamic State...Show More Summary

Heritage Crime in England

#heritagecrimeconf closes-protecting heritage@britishlibrary @PoliceChiefs @HistoricEngland — Herts Police (@HertsPolice) 11 April 2016 It will be interesting to read the text and presentations of some of the talks at the Heritage Crime conference held at the British Library. Show More Summary

Tsirogiannis on Looted Antiquities and the Market

The latest number (May / June 2016) of British Archaeology has an extended interview with Dr Christos Tsirogiannis ('Pots and robbers: how to defeat the tainted antiquities market'). The report includes fresh images from the seized Symes...Show More Summary

Roman Mosaic sold

Image from Becchina archive. Source: Christos Tsirogiannis. A Roman Mosaic with a less than complete collecting history has been sold at Christie's in New York for $545,000, far above the estimate.It is not clear why Christie's failed...Show More Summary

Lots Withdrawn from New York Sale

Image from the Becchina archive. Source: Christos Tsirogiannis. Two lots have been withdrawn from today's sale at Christie's in New York. They are: South Italian black-glossed hydria (lot 36). Roman marble janiform head (lot 70). The...Show More Summary

Surfacing Antiquities in New York: Becchina and Medici

Hydria from Medici Dossier. Courtesy: Christos Tsirogiannis. The present due diligence process adopted by some auction houses is not fit for purpose. I made this point at a recent meeting of the All Party Committee on Cultural Heritage.Dr...Show More Summary

Due diligence: update

Westminster © David Gill Earlier today I posted on the adoption of a new due diligence process.It was, of course, pure fiction (note the date).But is it a process to which responsible auction houses, galleries, dealers and trade associations...Show More Summary

Rigorous due diligence introduced by auction house

A major international auction house has announced today a new rigorous due diligence process for antiquities (archaeological material). It has recognised that the looting of archaeological sites, especially in Italy, Greece, Turkey and...Show More Summary

Concerns over damage to sites in England

Westminster © David Gill The All Party Committee on Cultural Heritage was taking evidence earlier this month. Lord Renfrew chaired the session.One of the topics discussed related to the extent of damage to archaeological sites, including those that are scheduled, in England through the inappropriate use of metal-detectors. Show More Summary

World Book Day 2016

Among those who have shaped the present territorial landscape of the Middle East was the archaeologist David Hogarth, former director of the British School at Rome. James Barr's A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that Shaped the Middle East (2012) helps to explore the implications of work of the Arab Bureau. World Book Day

Remote Sensing and Looting in Egypt

The study by Sarah Parcak and her colleagues on looting in Egypt is extremely significant (Antiquity 2016 [link to CUP]). Their use of remote sensing has allowed an assessment to be made of the scale of damage to ancient sites across Egypt. Show More Summary

An Analysis of Looting in Egypt

My analysis of looting in Egypt is available here. "Egyptian antiquities on the market", in The management of Egypt's cultural heritage, edited by F. A. Hassan, G. J. Tassie, L. S. Owens, A. De Trafford, J. van Wetering, and O. El Daly, vol. 2: 67-77. London: ECHO and Golden House Publications.

Nathan Elkins on ACCG Coin Test Case

I have commented before on Nathan Elkins' article on "Ancient coins, find spots, and import restrictions: A critique of arguments made in the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild’s ‘‘test case’’" in the Journal of Field Archaeology (2015).This...Show More Summary

The Challenges for Archaeology

The set of responses reflecting on the main challenges to archaeology today has appeared. They make a great read. Several address the issue of looting.

Further Medici Material Identified in Geneva

Detail from Medici DossierCourtesy Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has spotted that an image of a Roman fresco showing fish that was returned from the Geneva warehouse (apparently linked to Robin Symes) to Italy appears in the Medici Dossier. Show More Summary

Robin Symes, Returns from Geneva and the Medici Dossier

Source: Medici Dossier Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has identified the Etruscan male and female heads from the two sarcophagi returned from Geneva to Italy. The two feature in the Medici Dossier.This raises issues about how this material moved from Medici to Symes. Show More Summary

More on the Symes material returned from Switzerland

© Ministère public genevois There is growing interest in the 45 cases of antiquities returned to Italy from Switzerland. The Swiss authorities have issued a press statement (January 14, 2016). The statement does not identify Symes but...Show More Summary

Charges made over church lead thefts in Norfolk

There has been some concern about the level of church lead thefts in Norfolk and Suffolk over the last few months. On Friday Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement:Police have charged a man in connection with lead thefts from two churches in Norfolk. Show More Summary

Losing Knowledge: A Challenge for Archaeology

One of the greatest challenges to archaeology is the rapid loss of archaeological contexts. Archaeological sites have always been seen as a source of acquirable material: think of the Etruscan and Campanian cemeteries providing the 'vases' for the great collections of northern Europe. Show More Summary

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