Blog Profile / Looting Matters

Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:1011
Posts / Week:2.8
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Aboutaam on the seized sarcophagi

Ali Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art has commented on the lifting of sequestration of a Phoenician sarcophagus (Laure Lugon Zugravu, "Levée du séquestre pour le sarcophage phénicien", Le Temps July 22, 2015). Aboutaam is reported to have...Show More Summary

Sekhemka statue developments

The BBC is reporting that British Prime Minister David Cameron has been asked to intervene in the Sekhemka statue situation ("Sekhemka statue export: PM David Cameron urged to "intervene"", BBC News July 26, 2015). It looks as if the export restriction is likely to be lifted this week.A statement has been issued by the Save Sekhemka Action Group.

The so-called Gospel of Jesus' Wife

Professor Steve Walton had a very helpful post on the so-called Gospel of Jesus' Wife. This includes an interview with Dr Simon Gathercole from the University of Cambridge. The video explains the process in identifying the creation of a new document and its corrupting influence.For some of my earlier comments see here.

The (fictional) Detectorists in Suffolk

Earlier today I attended a meeting of a number of heritage organisations from across the region. Every so often a member of the 'Detectorists' cast wandered outside the windows on their way to make up or catering. Clearly this 'comedy' relating to the search for portable antiquities in Suffolk is preparing for a second series.

Operation Chronos in Essex

The police in Essex have announced the launch of Operation Chronos to combat what is described as nighthawking in the county (Will Lodge, "Essex Police leads national campaign targeting illegal treasure hunters", EADT July 20, 2015).Assistant...Show More Summary

The Lenborough Hoard

My article, 'Damaging the archaeological record: The Lenborough Hoard', has appeared in the Journal of Art Crime 13 (Spring 2015) 51-57. The article reviews how the coins were removed from their archaeological context and suggests ways to develop stronger guidelines to protect the archaeological heritage of England and Wales.

Looting in Syria

Rachel Shabi has written a carefully research piece on Syrian antiquities are that are being offered for sale in London ('Looting in Syria - and for sale in the UK', The Guardian Saturday 4 July 2015, 32-33). This builds on earlier observations explored in the BBC Radio 4 File on Four programme.

From the Koutoulakis Collection

Peter Watson explored the relationship between Giacomo Medici and Nikolas Koutoulakis. Koutoulakis' name also appears in the 'organigram'. So would a potential buyer be nervous if a Greek object was on offer with its stated collecting history ("provenance") as 'from the Koutoulakis collection'?

The Koutoulakis Herm returns to Greece

Source: Hellenic Ministry of Culture In October 2014 Bonhams offered a Roman herm that it was claimed to have been in the collection of Nicolas Koutoulakis collection in Geneva since 1965. But Glasgow University researcher Dr Christos...Show More Summary

Journal of Art Crime 2015 (Spring)

The Spring number of the Journal of Art Crime, edited by Noah Charney, is now available.Here is the table of contents for the latest issue of this bi-annual publication listing the archaeological papers that will be of interest to readers...Show More Summary

From an old Montecito collection

When a Palmyrene sculpture appears on the market you would expect the auction house to provide an authenticated collecting history. "Acquired prior to 1996" sounds rather imprecise and suggests that there is no documented collecting history showing the sculpture's origins.

The impact of the Medici and Becchina archives

Source: MiBACT The Art Newspaper (Melanie Girlis, "Calls to open looted-art archives grow louder", 2 June 2015) has published a skewed comment on the impact of the photographs (and other documentation) from the Medici and Becchina archives (and there is, of course, the Schinoussa archive). Show More Summary

Cultural property returned to Italy

Source: MiBACT The Italian authorities have held a further press conference to note a further batch of cultural property from North American collections [press release]. Some have been objects that have been noted before:1. Kalpis etrusca...Show More Summary

Studying Silver Plate from Gaul

My review article of Kenneth Lapatin (ed.), The Berthouville Silver Treasure and Roman Luxury (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014) has just been published by BMCR [link here]. Lapatin's helpful study reminds us of what can be...Show More Summary

Paperwork and documenting collecting histories

One of the issues that I keep mentioning is the need to authenticate documentation. Paul Barford has provided an excellent example in his discussion of material from Palmyra surfacing on eBay. He mentions an "Unconditionally guaranteed authentic" Palmyrene funerary portrait that is being offered on eBay for $13,500 (and on offer today). Show More Summary

Collaborative Working in Art Crime

Lynda Albertson leading discussion of art crime... Genuine dialogue @QMSchoolofLaw — David Gill (@davidwjgill) May 14, 2015 One of the most passionate papers at last week's conference at Queen Mary's was by Lynda Albertson of ARCA. Show More Summary

Ethical Collectors

I was very impressed with yesterday's presentation on Ethical Collectors by Cinnamon Stephens at Queen Mary's. It made me revisit some of my research on European and North American private collectors, and to think how some of them could...Show More Summary

Academics and recently surfaced anqiuities

One of the discussions at yesterday's conference at the Law School at Queen Mary's related to academics working on recently surfaced antiquities. Reference was made to the "incantation" bowls that were the subject of a study at UCL and comments by Lord Renfrew in the House of Lords. Show More Summary

Antiquities from Syria

Colleagues have been asking about where they can find information about objects from Syria. The ICOM Red List for antiquities from Syria can be found here.Following reports of widespread damage and looting at cultural heritage sitesShow More Summary

Forgeries and the market

One of the questions posed for later this week is 'how are forgeries placed on the market?'I look back to my study of the 'Fitzwilliam Goddess', acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1926 [JSTOR]. The endorsement for the piece was by Sir Arthur Evans. Show More Summary

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