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Blog Profile / Looting Matters


URL :http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:1502
Posts / Week:4.8
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The Curator, the Fax and the Mummy Mask

I remain puzzled by the St Louis Art Museum. It seems that less than one year after acquiring the Ka-Nefer-Nefer mummy mask (the one with the name erased from the hand), a distinguished Egyptologist from a major international museumShow More Summary

The Dumfriesshire Viking hoard: "an approachable stance towards engaging with detectorists"

Earlier this week it was announced that a metal-detectorist searching pasture in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, had discovered a significant Viking hoard in September ("Viking treasure haul unearthed in Scotland", BBC News October 12, 2014).The...Show More Summary

James Cuno Revives "Culture Wars"

I have been unimpressed by James Cuno's attempts to be a commentator on the looting of archaeological sites. I have reviewed his works elsewhere: Who Owns Antiquity? (2008) [academia.edu] Who Owns Culture? (2009) [academia.edu] Museums...Show More Summary

US Government Pays $425,000 for Legal Case

It now appears that the US Government has had to pay $425,000 in legal fees and costs to the St Louis Art Museum (Jenna Greence, "Feds Lose Fight Over Ancient Mummy Mask", National Law Journal October 21, 2014).The mask was purchased...Show More Summary

Ka-Nefer-Nefer Mummy Mask: the unanswered questions

Paul Barford has drawn attention to the response by SLAM's legal team to the conclusion of the two parallel legal cases.Patrick McInerney will need to explain when his client was first informed that the Ka-Nefer-Nefer mask was derived from Saqqara. Show More Summary

Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice

"Cultural Heritage Ethics provides cutting-edge arguments built on case studies of cultural heritage and its management in a range of geographical and cultural contexts. Moreover, the volume feels the pulse of the debate on heritageShow More Summary

Looting In Syria

David Kohn has a useful article on looting in Syria ("ISIS's looting campaign", New Yorker October 14, 2014). He notes damage to sites such as Apamea and Dura-Europos. Interestingly the antiquities are apparently moved through Turkey.Once the artifacts are out of the ground, they’re sold by second-hand dealers. Show More Summary

Bettany Hughes on the Sappho Papyrus

I have been returning to the case of the Sappho Papyrus as I have been working on the authentification of collecting histories. It is claimed that there is "documented legal provenance" for the papyrus. So what does this paperwork comprise?Bettany...Show More Summary

The Bubon Caracalla at Fordham

+ Caracalla photobomb. RT @profpeppard: Material culture in #antiquity w @MichaelPeppard @Praxeas and Jennifer Udell! pic.twitter.com/q9TuVfA3tn— Michael Peppard (@MichaelPeppard) October 7, 2014 I am sure that colleagues in Turkey will...Show More Summary

Oxford Classics Endorses the Sappho Papyrus

Earlier this year I wondered about the full collecting history of the "Sappho Papyrus".Dr Dirk Obbink has now published a short piece in the Oxford Faculty of Classics Newsletter. The double page spread (though the right hand page is...Show More Summary

Due dilgence: time for a rethink?

I have been writing my regular column for the Journal of Art Crime. My focus is on the what auction-houses consider to be an appropriate level of "due diligence". Is there an over-reliance on searching the databases of bodies such as...Show More Summary

"From the collection of a European business executive"

Anybody who has worked on material surfacing through the art market will be common with the phrases that define property, including (one of my favourites) "property of a Belgian gentleman". But today, while looking at a North America...Show More Summary

Thor Heyerdahl Anniversary

Google is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of explorer Thor Heyerdahl. This is being noted by a number of papers including The Independent.We celebrated the centenary with an exhibition and lecture earlier in the year.

The Koutoulakis connection

The withdrawal of a Roman herm from Bonhams this week raises the issue of links with Nikolas Koutoulakis. The Koutoulakis krater in Yale acquired in 1985 Bronze fragments from the Bubon Sebasteion in the J. Paul Getty Museum acquired...Show More Summary

The private collector and museum donation

One of the issues that needs to be considered is how some private collectors have been passing on their acquisitions within months or a couple of years. What does this say about the relationship between the museum and the collector?The issue becomes all the more interesting if the donations include objects that feature in the Medici archive.

Roman Herm Withdrawn from Bonhams: Becchina association established

Bonhams in London were due to sell a Roman marble herm today (lot 41) but it was withdrawn (Euthimis Tsiliopoulos, "Hermes head withdrawn from auction", Times of Change 1 October 2014). It was estimated to sell for £10000-£15000. The...Show More Summary

Northampton Museums Service breached museum Code of Ethics

Northampton Museums Service has withdrawn from Museums Association due to the sale of an Egyptian statue (Geraldine Kendall, "MA bars Northampton Museums Service for minimum of five years", MA 1 October 2014).The disciplinary panel ruled...Show More Summary

Ka Nefer Nefer Mask: a review of its acquisition

I have now reviewed the available correspondence and memoranda for the acquisition (and related due diligence process) of the Ka Nefer Nefer mask purchased by the St Louis Art Museum. There is clearly new evidence that has not been discussed...Show More Summary

SLAM and the SCA

It is now clear that curators at SLAM knew that the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask (but with name removed) was the one excavated (with name intact) at Saqqara when they were informed by an Egyptologist in February 1999. I remain puzzled by the apparent lack of contact with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). Show More Summary

Roman Sarcophagus due to be returned to Italy

Source: ICE Ric St Hilaire has written about the likely return of the Roman sarcophagus lid to Italy ("Stipulation Puts a Lid on Litigation Over Roman Sarcophagus Cover Featured in the Becchina Archive", September 22, 2014). The sarcophagus was recognised from the Becchina archive. Show More Summary

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