It is likely that more details will emerge over the next few weeks.
I have had the privilege of seeing the new #Sappho poems but was sworn to secrecy!
— Bettany Hughes (@bettanyhughes) January 30, 2014
The elderly owner of our new Sappho papyrus wishes to remain anonymous, and its provenance is obscure (it was originally owned, it seems, by a high-ranking German officer), but he was determined its secrets should not die with him.Yet now Dirk Obbink has rejected this in an interview published on 23 January 2015.
Obbink characterized Hughes' story as a "fictionalization" and an "imaginative fantasy."Who is telling the truth here? Or have Hughes and Obbink both presented (perhaps unwittingly) separate 'fictionalised' accounts? What makes the collecting history presented by Obbink more trustworthy? What is the authenticated and documented collecting history for the papyrus?
|Antiquities returned from Swiss-based dealer.|
In particolare, i carabinieri evidenziarono la figura di un intermediario – Gianfranco Becchina di Castelvetrano – il quale aveva curato la vendita del vaso al museo californiano.The report discusses Becchina's links with the Asteas krater returned from the J. Paul Getty Museum, as well as the Getty kouros.
is no one bothered by the incongruencies between Obbink's account and Bettany Hughes' account of the provenance of the Sappho papyrus?
— rogueclassicist (@rogueclassicist) January 13, 2015
59 packets of papyri fragments, approximately 20 x 45mm to 300 x 100mm, the majority in Greek, from various manuscripts containing texts in a variety of hands and including documentary, petitionary and literary excerpts, receipts, contracts and accounts. A number of fragments belonged to the collection of David M. Robinson, a large part of which was subsequently bequeathed to the Library of the University of Mississippi. The collection is briefly described by William H. Willis in 'The New Collections of Papyri at the University of Mississippi', Proceedings of the IX International Congress of Papyrology, 1961, pp.381-82. Two of the packets were part of the collection of P. Deaton.Not all --- only "a number" --- the fragments came from the Robinson collection. There is, as yet, no photographic evidence that this Sappho fragment was included in this lot.
Sam Hardy on organised criminal activity and looting of archaeological sites #archaeology pic.twitter.com/EXjDpgHdTR
— David Gill (@davidwjgill) January 16, 2015
Join a panel of experts to discuss cultural heritage in Syria, raise awareness of its Syrian dimension, to consider it within a regional and international context, and to look for any measures that might be taken to reduce the damage being wrought.
Cultural heritage has become a serious casualty of the ongoing civil war in Syria as widely seen in media reports describing damage to archaeological sites for both military and ideological reasons, the looting of antiquities to order to support groups like Daesh, and the rise of the illicit antiquities trade. Although less immediately tragic than the humanitarian disaster unfolding across the country, the destruction and loss of community and cultural property represents catastrophic damage that directly affects people and society, with long-term harm to culture, identity and economy.
Responses have been limited, but include efforts by the archaeological community to help the Syrians look after their heritage, including appeals made to fund training in curation and conservation, as well as assistance in identifying and monitoring the problems. These address the supply side of the problem of the illicit antiquities trade, but in the context of ongoing civil war such measures can only be limited. Less attention has been paid to the demand side of the antiquities trade, but this is an area where international action may have a far greater long-term impact.I am particularly looking forward to hearing Dr Sam Hardy articulate his informed position on the situation (and see his "Conflict Archaeology" blog).