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Blog Profile / Illicit Cultural Property


URL :http://illicit-cultural-property.blogspot.com/
Filed Under:Arts
Posts on Regator:792
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:January 18, 2009

Blog Post Archive

The Consequences of Cultural Heritage Disputes

Disputes over works of art continue to hamper relationships between major Museums and nations of origin. One example is what appears to be a strained relationship between Turkey and the Met. The Met is planning a major exhibition on the Seljuk Islamic empire. But the show looks to be hampered by Turkey’s cultural embargo which […]

Review of “Art and Craft”, the Landis documentary

We might forgive the casual observer’s relaxed views of art forgers. Perhaps because many of us, on some level, love an outlaw. Tales of art forgers have been popular: Clifford Irving’s Fake! (1969) examined the life of notorious art faker Elmyr de Höry. Orson Welles’ documentary examination of creation and storytelling F for Fake (1973) still cuts to the […]

Antiquities Looting and ISIS

How much has antiquities looting contributed to funding ISIS? There are a lot of speculative reports out there, but due to the nature of the illicit antiquities trade, and the dearth of first hand reporting the situation remains murky. There seems to be a good opportunity given what we know about the unscrupulous portions of […]

Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition

DePaul is once again hosting its terrific National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition. This is a terrific tournament, in its sixth year, with rounds argued in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. If you are a law student interested in meeting some cultural heritage lawyers, and getting some great moot court experience, this is […]

More on ISIS and the illicit antiquities trade

Three academics (Amr Al-Azm,  Salam al-Kuntar, and Brian I. Daniels) who have been training Syrian preservationists in Southern Turkey have some more anecdotal insights into how deep the connection between ISIS and the illicit antiquities trade is in an OpEd appearing in the International NY Times: In extensive conversations with those working and living in areas currently […]

Losing California’s ancient petroglyphs

Central California PBS affiliate KVIE has a segment showing and discussing the theft and destruction of ancient petroglyphs from California. It shows some of the sites themselves, the damage they have suffered, and a good overview of the laws protecting these sites. The segment really hits its stride in pointing out the disconnect between laws protecting […]

What can be done in Syria?

Ursula Lindsey reports for the Chronicle of Higher Education on what foreign academics are doing to combat the looting and destruction in Syria: Scholars can do little to stop the fighting and looting, but they have created blogs, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts to monitor the destruction and raise awareness about it. By sharing […]

Church theft of a Guercino in Modena

Holidays and festivals always bring increased risks to works of art. Perhaps because the usual traffic of locals and visitors is reduced, and there aren’t as many who might notice something that would be odd or uncharacteristic. I’m not sure if that is one of the contributing factors to the theft of this Guercino depicting St. […]

Note on Cariou v. Prince

The Harvard Law Review has a tidy summary of the recent Second Circuit decision in Cariou v. Prince. From the note: Recently, in Cariou v. Prince, the Second Circuit held that a series of photographic collages described as “appropriation art” qualified as fair use despite the fact that both the collage and the original photographs served similar expressive […]

What’s at stake in Syria

Its not just ancient sites and archaeology that are at risk in Syria. The NPR program Fresh Air today featured a terrific interview with a former punk band drummer who was able to capture recordings of some ancient religious chants in Christian and Sufi communities in Syria. He was able to this before the outbreak […]

Stolen art found in commercial storage?

Perhaps commercial art storage institutions need to be held to a higher standard. Daniel Grant has a provocative piece in the Gallerist, exploring the possibility that a good deal of stolen art may be found in storage facilities like bank vaults or art storage facilities: The past decade has seen significant growth in the art […]

‘Art is Therapy’ at the Rijksmuseum

  What should a museum be? Should it be a collection of the world’s masterpieces accumulated in great cities? Should it be a smaller museum devoted to showing the history of a region, town or culture? We think a lot about these big questions around here by responding to questions like ‘Who Owns Antiquity?‘ or […]

Corporate donors funding preservation in Italy

There has been an upswing in the use of corporate funds to preserve and rehabilitate some of the World’s great cultural heritage sites in Italy. Gaia Piangiani and Jim Yardley report for the New York Times: While private-public partnerships are common in the United States and many other countries, the government has traditionally been responsible […]

Museum in Mosul at risk

NPR yesterday featured an interview with Christopher Dickey, foreign editor for the Daily Beast, discussing the risks posed to antiquities in Mosul: Well, what’s at risk are some beautiful monumental sculptures, these winged figures, lions and bulls, with the faces of bearded men – Kings, that clearly were idols in the time of the Assyrians. […]

Federal Agents target objects, not looters

The Salt Lake Tribune follows up on the status of the objects seized during the four-corners antiquities operation. The Federal government seized some 6,000 allegedly-looted antiquities, but has no clear victim or community to return them to in most cases. The Salt Lake Tribune has video of a curator for the Bureau of Land Management supervising the […]

On chasing the looting/terror connection

There has been a renewed series of reports in recent weeks connecting the looting of antiquities to terrorism. This recent Guardian article quotes an unnamed intelligence official stating that ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant)...Show More Summary

Mackenzie and Davis on Looting in Cambodia

  Simon Mackenzie and Tess Davis have put together an important new empirical study examining a trafficking network in Cambodia in an article appearing in the British Journal of Criminology. From the abstract: Qualitative empirical studies of the illicit antiquities trade have tended to focus either on the supply end, through interviews with looters, or on […]

Light Posting

We are off for a few weeks for some summer teaching in Istanbul, some art-viewing in Amsterdam, and some other events. There will be lots to share here when I’m back in front of a keyboard, but posting will be light for a few weeks. In the meantime check out my blogging colleagues in the […]

O’Donnell on the ‘sightings’ of Gardner thefts

Attorney Nicholas O’Donnell rightly skewers the FBI’s recent media blitz on the so-called “confirmed sightings” of works stolen from the Gardner Museum: If my skepticism sounds familiar, it is because there was a similar episode last year, when the FBI claimed “with a  high degree of confidence” that it knew who had stolen the paintings. […]

A Call for more art market diligence

Gerald Fitzgerald argues that we need to increase the level of due diligence in the art market: I propose a levy of 1% or less on the sale or auction of any artwork above a certain value—say, $5,000—earmarked fully for the creation and support of a Center for Provenance Research. Questions of inadequate provenance would […]

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