The Senator and a US No-Questions-Asked Antiquities Market

Paul BarfordCommentaryLeave a Comment

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently supported a seminar organized to question the rationale behind part of the US International Cultural Property Protection Program. I found this disturbing and have written to her to ask why, and whether she supports this program and feels it should be strengthened or disabled. Members of SAFE – particularly those based in New York – … Read More

“Egypt’s Antiquities Fall Victim to the Mob”: A Response

Oscar MuscarellaCommentary, ReviewLeave a Comment

Alexander Joffe’s article (Feb. 2) on the, fortunately minor, looting of the Cairo Museum is misleading and, indeed, paradoxical for an archaeologist, omits to mention, let alone discuss, the sole cause for this and all other looting and worldwide plunder. It exists to acquire “treasures” to be sold to customers: no customers, no looting or plunder. This reality is the … Read More

Yet another one…

Damien HufferAlert, Commentary, Report4 Comments

This morning, while browsing the web for current Southern Hemisphere antiquities trade news to blog about, I came across the webpage of a company/auction house that, to me, seems as brazen in their sale of unprovenanced and/or recently surfaced artifacts as the world’s largest wholesale auction houses. Indeed, they occasionally have their own auctions! This time I’m talking about Arte … Read More

BC Galleries: The Antiquities Trade Down Under

Damien HufferAlert, Commentary8 Comments

A few days ago, a very shocking and depressing addition to my personal monitoring of the global antiquities trade, especially in regards to Southeast Asian artifacts, was brought to my attention. I’m talking about a distributor called BC Galleries ( Formerly a member of, and with clients ranging from individuals, to museums, to other galleries, they have operated out … Read More

How the Illegal Trade of Afghan Antiquities is Funding Terrorism

Leo McNameeReportLeave a Comment

Spotlight, a weekly presentation of investigative reports from around the world for Link Tv, reported recently on the European art trade. The selling of stolen or smuggled art in Europe has been a problem for as long as the trade has existed. However, the looting of archaeological sites in Afghanistan has now become a major concern. Spotlight reports that the … Read More

The Penn Museum & Robert Hecht Jr.

Leo McNameeCommentary, What do you think?Leave a Comment

Tom Avril, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports this month on 24 pieces of gold from the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The items in question, including ear rings, neck laces and brooches, were purchased over 40 years ago by the museum from a Philadelphia antiquities dealer; they were not accompanied by any documentation of their origin and … Read More

Unrecorded Ancient Coins from Britain for Sale in the United States: Grumblings and a Positive Response

Nathan ElkinsCommentary, Report1 Comment

On May 18, I called attention to two different mass suppliers of ancient coins in the United States who regularly sell bulk lots of “uncleaned ancient coins” from all over Europe and the Middle East (“Having Cake and Eating it too: Unrecorded and Freshly Dug British Coins Sold in the USA,” Numismatics and Archaeology). These two sellers had recently offered … Read More

Stakeholders and Interests in Cultural Heritage Issues

Nathan ElkinsCommentaryLeave a Comment

Archaeologists, museums, dealers, and collectors are the most frequently referenced “stakeholders” in cultural property issues. Archaeologists and other scholars are concerned about the destruction of information resulting from looting. Museums are concerned about mainting the prestige and integrity of their collections and exhibiting to the public. Collectors have a passion for the ancient world that is expressed through personal acquisition … Read More