The Ancient Art of Collecting

Marina LahowinArticle, What do you think?Leave a Comment

In 1925, archaeologists Leonardo Woolley was excavating in an ancient Sumerian city called Ur, located in present day Iraq. There he uncovered one of the oldest collections of antiquities in the Ennigaldi-Nanna’s Museum, believed to be from 530 BC. The museum contained a diverse collection of ancient objects from Mesopotamia dating back as far as 2058 BC. Still more incredible, … Read More

Antiquities in the Art Market

Marina LahowinArticle, What do you think?Leave a Comment

Antiquities in the art market have long been a topic of controversy surrounding auction houses, museums, collectors and even governments. From looted antiquities making their way onto the shelves of respected institutions to auction houses being caught red handed with smuggled goods, the issue is unrelenting and without an easy solution. The antiquities market is considered to be a gray market, … Read More

Do you think all nations should help protect one another’s cultural heritage?

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What do you think? Your opinion matters.

On June 2, 2014, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will begin its review of Egypt’s request that the US impose import restrictions on Egyptian antiquities in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), made under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO Convention). Written public comments submitted earlier are posted here. … Read More

Laundering phenomena in cultural goods trafficking

Paolo FerriArticleLeave a Comment

The laundering of cultural goods has become such a widespread and insidious phenomenon that it should be a separate discipline unto itself, if only to resolve certain jurisdictional problems. Indeed, cultural goods are often subject to real or fictitious manipulations aimed either at removing or hiding their true origin and provenance or obscuring their illicit exportation to a foreign territory. … Read More

Protecting Egypt’s cultural heritage – repatriation efforts alone will not suffice

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Pharaonic artefacts are seen on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Given the well documented role of auction sales in the legitimization of unprovenanced artifacts, which translates as “no questions asked,” or possibly looted or looted, should anyone be surprised that a major source country such as Egypt would follow the examples set by Italy, Cambodia, Iran, and non-state actors such as Native American tribes in the United States, to stop … Read More

“Declaration on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict” to be unveiled at WAC-7 in Jordan

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Amid the many discussions that will take place at the Seventh World Archaeological Congress (January 13-18 , 2013) being held at the King Hussein Convention Center, at the Dead Sea in Jordan, under the royal patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan an important four-session series titled “Archaeology as a Target” will begin on January 14, 2013. … Read More

“Retentionist” or just doing the right thing?

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Recovered Italian objects image from " "Retentionist" or just doing the right thing?"

According to KVAL.com article “Stolen Italian antiquities recovered from Oregon home” Phillip Pirages, the book dealer whose manuscript pages were forfeited by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “was very impressed with how serious the (Italian) government was about reclaiming these[.]” Indeed, Italy is not alone in its determination to reclaim its cultural patrimony. In recent years, many culturally rich “source” … Read More

Captain Gunter’s “loot”: Antiquities from China’s Summer Palace continue to sell at auction

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Qing dynasty gold box sold at Woolley and Wallis auction house

The sale of a 8.5 by 5.8 centimeter Qing dynasty (late 18th- early 19th century) gold box for £490,000 ($764,694.00) at London auction house Woolley and Wallis has provoked an international debate. The gold box, embellished with seed pearls, enamel glass panels, and floral motifs, inscribed in 1860 “Loot from Summer Palace, Perkin, October 1860, Captain James Gunter, King’s Dragoon … Read More