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Blog Profile / Looting Matters

Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:1536
Posts / Week:4.7
Archived Since:October 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Happy Christmas

Canterbury Cathedral © David Gill, 2014 I would like to wish all readers of LM a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

The Ka Nefer Nefer Mummy Mask: its collecting history

My article on the acquisition of the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask by the St Louis Art Museum has been published in The Journal of Art Crime ("The case of the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask", vol. 12, 13-25). It discusses previously undisclosed information about when the curatorial team at SLAM became aware of aspects of the collecting history. Show More Summary

Selling Antiquities in New York

© David Gill, 2014 The two big sales of antiquities at Christie's and Sotheby's have taken place in New York this week. It is time to review the year.First it is clear that there has been a steady decrease each year from 2010 ($133.8 million) to the present $26.8 million. Show More Summary

Symes Statue Unsold at Sotheby's

Egyptian statue from Schinoussa ArchiveSource: ARCA / Tsirogiannis It seems that the Egyptian statue that had appeared to pass through the hands of Robin Symes has been left unsold at Sotheby's today.

Robin Symes, the Egyptian Priest and Sotheby's

Egyptian priest from Schinoussa ArchiveSource: ARCA / Tsirogiannis Later today Sotheby's will be auctioning "AN EGYPTIAN DIORITE FIGURE OF A PRIEST OF THE TEMPLE OF MUT, LATE 25TH/EARLY 26TH DYNASTY, CIRCA 670-610 B.C." (lot 6). The collecting history is provided: private collection (Christie's, London, April 27th, 1976, no. Show More Summary

Christie's: withdrawn lots

Attic red-figured krater / SwinglerSource: Tsirogiannis Those following Christie's sale of antiquities will have noted the following lots have been withdrawn: Lot 51: AN EGYPTIAN ALABASTER FIGURAL JUG. "This Lot is Withdrawn." Lot 95: Athenian red-figured krater. Show More Summary

Why loan the odd pedimental sculpture from the Parthenon?

The personification of the river Ilissos from the Parthenon© David Gill Lee Rosenbaum has explored why Nel MacGregor has been keen to make a loan of the 'Ilissos' statue to the Hermitage Museum ("Preparing for Lawsuit? Why Might Neil...Show More Summary

Robin Symes and lots at Christie's

Authenticated and therefore reliable collecting histories are important. Auction catalogues need to be able to demonstrate the previous owners of a lot. After all, potential buyers need to understand what they are buying.Dr ChristosShow More Summary

Christie's: "having to prove provenance"

Readers of LM will know that I find the word "provenance" as obsolete. Why not use the terms archaeology ("this krater was found in tomb 56 of the Fikellura cemetery"; "we do not know where this statue was found") or collecting history...Show More Summary

Swingler and the Getty: "we need things to fill it up"

Image of krater reportedly linked to David SwinglerSource: Tsirogiannis The issue about the krater at auction at Christie's this week and linked to David Swingler (by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis) continues to develop.It appears that Swingler worked with Jiri Frel of the J. Show More Summary

The British Museum and Cultural Imperialism

The loan of one of the pedimental sculptures from the Parthenon to the Hermitage raises a number of issues about cultural property. I was presenting a research seminar on this topic in Cambridge last month and I was asked how the debates...Show More Summary

The Parthenon loan to Russia

© David Gill The British Museum has announced that it will be allowing the statue possibly representing the river Ilissos to Russia (BBC News, 5 December 2014). This statue forms part of the west pediment of the Parthenon.Neil MacGregor sees the loan as a "marble ambassador of a European ideal" (British Museum blog). Show More Summary

Pasta, Swingler, Christie's and the Krater

Image reported to have been seized from SwinglerSource: Tsirogiannis Back in 2000, Christina Ruiz reported on "Artefacts Smuggled in Spaghetti" for the Art Newspaper. In June of that year:The other major group of works presented to the...Show More Summary

More identifications at Christie's

Breaking News It appears that four more identifications from photographic archives have been made by Glasgow academic Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. Three relate to items in the forthcoming auction at Christie's, and one at Sotheby's.

Due Diligence at Christie's: time for change?

Sardinian Figure from the Medici DossierSource: Tsirogiannis / ARCA The decision to withdraw the Steinhardt Sardinian Figure from the 'Ancient Art' auction at Christie's in December raises some issues.First, did the Christie's antiquities...Show More Summary

Announcing news on Thanksgiving Day

Steinhardt Sardinian FigureSource: Tsirogiannis / ARCA The apparent removal of the Steinhardt Sardinian figure from auction at Christie's is timely. After all, today is Thanksgiving Day. Eight years ago, also in late November, the J....Show More Summary

Steinhardt Sardinian Figure Withdrawn From Sale

Bloccata l'asta della Dea Madre - Pili, "risultato importantissimo, ora torni all'Isola"— Ansa Sardegna (@AnsaSardegna) November 27, 2014 Many Italian news agencies now seem to be covering the decision by Christie's to withdraw the Sardinian figure from December's auction. The vendor was Michael Steinhardt.

Steinhardt Sardinian Figure: Update

It appears that the Steinhardt Sardinian Figure has been withdrawn from auction at Christie's next month.

Christie's and "transparency"

Sardinian figure from Medici DossierSource: Tsirogiannis / ARCA Back in November 2009 (i.e. 5 years ago) some objects that passed through Christie's were seized and subsequently returned to Italy. When I contacted the press office at Christie's I was informed "the transparency of the public auction system combined with the efforts from the U.S. Show More Summary

Press coverage of Steinhardt Sardinian Figure Growing

Rara Dea Madre finisce all-asta da Christie-s via @lanuovasardegna— David Gill (@davidwjgill) November 25, 2014 There seems to be growing coverage in the Sardinian and Italian press of the story that the figure...Show More Summary

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