Theft at Olympia

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In the early morning hours of February 17th, two armed men entered the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympics in the city of Olympia in Greece. After subduing the guard on duty, the thieves broke glass cases and took 77 objects, ranging from small bronze statues to terracotta votive sculptures to a 3500 year old gold ring. These … Read More

Aphrodite of the Muckrakers

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Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum is the story of how the J. P. Getty Museum has collected Greek and Roman antiquities since its inception in 1953, told from the inside out. The authors, Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, both reporters from the Los Angeles Times (Frammolino has since moved on), have assembled an … Read More

Hate Looting? Take This Opportunity to Support Restrictions on the Import of Undocumented Antiquities

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The cultural heritage of Greece, which spans thousands of years, from the Neolithic to the Byzantine era, is constantly under threat from looters. Why? To supply the illicit antiquities market. The United States remains a major market country for these materials. Recognizing this, the Hellenic Republic has requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US which would require documentation … Read More

NYTimes Home & Garden FAIL

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I realize that Home & Garden isn’t the section of The New York Times racking up the most Pulitzers, but that’s no excuse for what was published there. In a piece entitled “Trophy Hunters With Their Eyes on Interiors,” the reader is acquainted with a handful of daring “ultra-high-end contractors” who are tasked by their demanding clients to find all … Read More

Speaking of partage….when’s the Met going to start digging?

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I had occasion to reread an article in The New York Times outlining the “Italian Agreement” and was reminded of something that surprised me at the time: part of the agreement includes the Met beginning excavations in Italy. From the NY Times, Feb. 22, 2006 (Arts section, “Italy and U.S. Sign Antiquities Accord”): The agreement also allows the Met to conduct authorized … Read More