Tuesday, December 5, 2017

An athlete, Robin Symes and the Paris market

Source: Schinoussa archive
Courtesy: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has identified a Roman marble athlete from the Robin Symes archive. The statue is due to be auctioned in Paris this Friday, 8 December 2017 (Drouot lot 292).

The history of the statue is provided:
  • Royal Athena Galleries, New York:  Art of the Ancient World 4 (1995), p.75-76, lot n°236.
This does not explain why the statue appeared in the confiscated Symes archive. 

Tsirogiannis has also spotted that the statue surfaced at Sotheby's in London Sotheby's on 5th of July 1982. lot 397. Who consigned the statue to that sale? Why does the Paris description fail to mention the Sotheby's information? Would it raise questions about how it surfaced?

Where was the statue between 1982 and 1995?

I understand that the French authorities have been informed about the sale.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Lucius Verus said to be from Bubon


Portrait of Lucius Verus, 160 - 170 A.D., Bronze
36 × 23 × 28 cm (14 3/16 × 9 1/16 × 11 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
I am reviewing some long-standing claims of cultural property. Among them is the head from a bronze portrait of Lucius Verus. This is said to be from the Sebasteion at Bubon in Turkey.

It surfaced on the London market in the summer of 1970 after being restored by Peter Smith and Anna Plowden (Bernard Weinraub, "Squashed Bust of an Emperor Restored by 2 Young Britons", New York Times 7 June 1970). A representative of Spink & Son suggested that the head had been "excavated in Eastern Europe, probably Hungary, after World War II".

Yet by 1981 Jiri Frel could claim that the head was "said to be from Bubon" (Roman Portraits, no. 62; inv. 73.AB.100). This reflected the research of Jale Inan and Cornelius C. Vermeule. Carol Mattusch in 1996 noted, "Reported to be from Ibecik (ancient Bubon in Lycia), Turkey."

The head was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum subsequent to the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Will the museum be returning the head to Turkey along with associated pieces?

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Treasure Finds and metal-detecting

© David Gill
Ian Richardson has commented on his favourite Treasure Finds (Laurence Cawley, "Treasure finds in England top 1,000 for first time", BBC News 23 November 2017). This coincides with the number of Treasure Finds passing the 1,000 mark for the third year in a row. (See statistical summary here.)

Norfolk and Suffolk top the list with 211 finds. Julie Shoemark, the finds liaison officer for Norfolk, commented that "the rising number of reported treasure finds corresponded to a growth in the numbers of metal detecting clubs."

There is no comment from Richardson on the scale of the lost or damaged archaeological contexts represented by the 1,120 Treasure Finds.


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Monday, November 20, 2017

Attic cup surfacing in Munich identified from Medici Dossier

Athenian cup attributed to the Hegesiboulos painter
Left: Gorny & Mosch. Right: Medici Dossier (courtesy C. Tsirogiannis)
An Attic red-figured cup known from the Medici Dossier has surfaced at an auction of Gorny & Mosch in Munich (Auction 252, December 13, 2017, lot 66). This identification has been made by Cambridge-based academic, Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The attribution is to the Hegesiboulos painter.

The cup first surfaced at Sotheby's in London on 13-14 December 1982, lot 248 (BAPD 7047). Two items also from this sale, an Attic red-figured amphora attributed to the Berlin painter and a Lucanian nestoris, have already been returned to Italy from two separate North American museum collections (see here). The catalogue entry notes that the cup is being sold with a copy of the Sotheby's catalogue entry.

The cup then passed into the 'P.C.' collection in southern Germany (a detail apparently unknown to the Beazley Archive).

The same auction-house has been trying to sell other material identified from the range of photographic archives (also identified by Tsirogiannis): a Gnathian askos, an Etruscan bronze athlete, an Apulian situla and an Apulian krater.

The auction-house was also named in the investigation known as Operation Ghelas.

These five examples suggest that Gorny & Mosch need to improve the rigour of their due diligence search prior to sales.

Gorny & Mosch will, we are sure, be wanting to be seen to co-operate with the Italian authorities.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Gordon McLendon and Fritz Bürki

The returns from the J. Paul Getty Museum have included Apulian pots that were given by Gordon McLendon in 1977 (Inv. 77.AE.14–15). 

Some of McLendon's gifts were derived from Fritz Bürki:
a. Apulian volute-krater, attributed to the Baltimore painter. Inv. 77.AE.112. Acquired from Bürki in 1977.
b. Apulian volute-krater, attributed to the Baltimore painter. Inv. 77.AE.113. Acquired from Bürki in 1977.
c. Apulian volute-krater, attributed to the Patera painter. Inv. 77.AE.114. Acquired from Bürki in 1977.
d. Apulian volute-krater, attributed to the Patera painter. Inv. 77.AE.115. Acquired from Bürki in 1977.
e. Apulian bell-krater, attributed to the Patera painter. Inv. 77.AE.116. Acquired from Bürki in 1977.

Note that these Apulian pieces moved almost directly from Bürki to the museum via McLendon.


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Friday, November 3, 2017

Persepolis Relief Seized in New York

A fragment from one of the Persepolis reliefs has been seized at TEFAF in New York (James C. McKinley Jr, "Ancient Limestone Relief Is Seized at European Art Fair", New York Times October 29 2017).

The relief was recorded at Persepolis as late as 1936 (see here). It was acquired by the Montreal Museum of Fine Art in the 1950s from Frederick Cleveland Morgan. (It is not clear how it moved from Persepolis to Montreal.) The relief was stolen from the museum in September 2011, and recovered in Edmonton in January 2014. The insurers apparently sold the relief to Rupert Wace Ancient Art from whose stand at TEFAF the piece was seized.

It is not clear why the relief was not spotted from the archive photographs when it formed part of the collection in Montreal. It can only be assumed that the dealer assumed that there was no problem with the history of the relief fragment.

The relief was clearly removed after the 1930 legislation (see here) that would have made its export illegal.


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Greece issues statement over marble funerary markers

Source: Christos Tsirogiannis
The Greek authorities (The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport) have issued a statement over the two marble funerary markers that were on sale in London by Jean-David Cahn [press release, 26 October 2017].

The statement makes it plain that the Greek authorities are seeking the return of the objects to Greece (Οι εν λόγω ελληνικές αρχαιότητες διεκδικούνται ήδη από το Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού, το οποίο θα συνεχίσει τις προσπάθειες επαναπατρισμού τους αξιοποιώντας κάθε πρόσφορο μέσο).

We can only presume that the Swiss authorities will want to avoid any damaging legal process that will explore the sale of this material.

Can we also presume that the Greek authorities will be reopening the investigation into the three objects in the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University?




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Thursday, October 26, 2017

"The Greeks are the rightful owner"

Marble funerary markers on display in London
Source: Christos Tsirogiannis
Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has been interviewed by The Times over the marble lekythos and the marble loutrophoros that were being offered for sale in London by Jean-David Cahn (Jack Malvern, "Expert attacks sale of 'stolen' Greek vases", The Times 24 October 2017). 

On the left (no. 237), the history of the lekythos is given as "Formerly Swiss art market, October 1977". I understand from Dr Tsirogiannis that the lekythos was listed by Gianfranco Becchina on 5 September 1977. Was this information known to Cahn? The lekythos is listed as co-owned by Becchina and George Ortiz.

On the right (no. 239), the history of the loutrophoros is given as "Formerly Swiss art market, October 1977".

These two funerary markers are almost certainly from a cemetery in Attica, and Tsirogiannis is right to suggest that "the Greeks are the rightful owner", especially if there is no documentation relating to their movement from Greece to Switzerland.

More troubling is the role of the Art Loss Register. If the ALR was not able to identify the markers in a photographic database, they needed to say that very clearly. But perhaps they did. But Malvern tells us, "The Art Loss Register said that it was considering its position on the vases." Why does the ALR need to reconsider? Does it think that it gave misleading advice? Does the ALR need to reconsider all its advice relating to recently surfaced antiquities?

We presume that Cahn has now had time to contact the Greek authorities to arrange their return.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What does "mint provenance" mean?

Marble loutrophoros from the Becchina archive.
Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
The identification of a marble lekythos and a marble loutrophoros that had formed part of the stock of Gianfranco Becchina raises concerns about how the history of the objects was recorded.

The dealer, Jean-David Cahn, states:
In the past few years, the gallery has been rethinking its acquisition policy, pinpointing quality as well as provenance even more. Our profile is then to provide/show quality pieces with a strong expertise and mint provenance.
Were these two pieces offered with the information that they were linked to Becchina? What sort of due diligence process had been conducted by the gallery? Had the gallery contacted the Greek authorities to check that the objects had not been removed from the country illegally?

A "mint provenance" would provide the full, documented and authenticated history of the object from when it left the ground to the point of its present sale.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Michael C. Carlos Museum under renewed scrutiny

Left: image from Becchina archive.
Right: larnax in Michael C. Carlos Museum
Objects in the Michael C. Carlos Museum are under renewed scrutiny after the latest Becchina appearances of archaeological material from Greece in London. The museum has let the case go unresolved for 9 years; the story was broken in the Greek press more than 10 years ago.

There are three items: a Minoan larnax, a pithos, and a statue of Terpsichore.

It is about time that the curatorial team at the Michael C. Carlos Museum offered to return the items to Greece.

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Becchina and the Funerary Markers from Greece

Marble loutrophoros from the Becchina archive.
Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
Cambridge-based academic, Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, has identified two Attic funerary markers that have surfaced on the Swiss market (Howard Swains, "Looted antiquities allegedly on sale at London Frieze Masters art fair", The Guardian October 22, 2017). The items feature in the Becchina archive.

The marble lekythos and loutrophoros were displayed by Swiss-based dealer Jean-David Cahn at the Frieze Masters art fair in Regent's Park in London.

It appears that the items are being offered on behalf of the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt. They had apparently formed part of the stock seized from Becchina's warehouse in Switzerland. (For more on this see here.)

Strangely the Swiss authorities are claiming that the Italian authorities have given permission for the material to be sold. But these two items are objects that were created in Attica for display in Attic cemeteries. They are from Greek, not Italian, soil.

The key question is this: did the Swiss authorities as well as Cahn contact the Greek authorities to check that the sale was acceptable? If the answer to this is no, then there has been a major breakdown in the due diligence process. Any responsible dealer would have known that they need to contact the Greek authorities for objects that would have been found in Greek funerary contexts.

This makes the statement from James Ratcliffe, counsel for the Art Loss Register sound ridiculous: “If [the Italians] are not reclaiming it, it’s then in this grey area where legally it’s seemingly OK ... As far as [the Swiss] were concerned, they were selling with good title. Now if that’s not the case, and information has emerged that’s contrary to that, then quite clearly that’s something we would say changes our view.” But if the two funerary objects came from Greece rather than Italy, then Ratcliffe's statement reflects his apparent lack of understanding of the reality of the situation.

Cahn is not unfamiliar with handling material from Greece. Items include the statue of Apollo that had been looted from Gortyn on Crete, and another Attic marble lekythos.

Incidentally, the Becchina archive also includes images of a Minoan larnax from Crete now in the Michael C. Carlos Museum. This case is currently unresolved.

These two ex-Becchina items are now toxic. The Basel authorities and Cahn would be best advised to arrange for them to be returned to Greece before the Greek authorities make a formal request and with it all the associated publicity.



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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Looting of archaeological sites in East Anglia

BBC Look East 17 October 2017
BBC Look East has covered the problem of looting on archaeological sites in East Anglia (October 17, 2017). The report covers the problem of illegal metal-detecting on the site of Great Chesterford, the response from the police (including PC Andy Long of Essex Constabulary) and landowners, as well as from metal-detectorists. Police will be installing cameras at key sites, as well as deploying drones to identify criminal activity.

The message that needs to get through is that archaeological contexts are being lost, and key pieces are not being reported.

The programme is available here for 24 hours.

BBC Look East 17 October 2017
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Further statue from temple of Eshmun, Lebanon seized in New York City

Bull from temple of Eshmun, Lebanon.
Source: ARCA
ARCA (and other sources) has commented on the seizure of a second statue from the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon that had formed part of a New York private collection. The figure is holding an animal: a calf, sheep or goat. The collector is reported in the legal papers as Michael Steinhardt.

The marble bull's head that was also seized in New York is due to be returned to the Lebanon in the next two weeks.

Christos Tsirogiannis has established that the Beierwaltes, through whose hands the bull passed, were clients of Robin Symes. Is this the source for the bull?

And if so, did Symes handle the other statue?

And what other material removed from Lebanon could have passed through this route?

Postscript
Colin Moyniham, "Couple Drops Lawsuit Over Disputed Antiquity", New York Times, October 13, 2017: "The calf bearer sculpture passed though some of the same hands as the bull's head, according to the letter. It too had been excavated at Eshmun and was stolen from the Lebanese Republic, prosecutors said. It was then sold in 1996 by Mr. Symes for $4.5 million to the Beierwalteses, who later sold it to Mr. Steinhardt, Mr. Bogdanos wrote." The bull's head was purchased for $1 million in 1996.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stonehenge and the National Trust

Stonehenge (c) David Gill
Stonehenge is part of one of the most important prehistoric (and historic) landscapes in England. A members' resolution has been presented to the National Trust AGM on Saturday (21 October 2017) that aims to protect and preserve the integrity of the UNESCO World Heritage site in the face of the proposed tunnel construction.

Members of the National Trust can vote on the resolution on-line here. Details of the resolution can be downloaded here.

The Heritage Journal lays out some of the concerns here.



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Monday, October 2, 2017

Public Archaeology and Looting Antiquities

2017
A new volume, Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, edited by Gabriel Moschenska of UCL has been published (UCL Press) [open access pdf].

Readers of LM will find some of the chapters of interest.

Paul Burtenshaw ("Economics in public archaeology", pp. 31–42) touches on how to reduce looting and preserve sites by showing the economic benefits of heritage through tourism.

Don Henson ("Archaeology and education", pp. 43–59) shows how education can be used to reduce the risk of looting.

Roger Bland, Michael Lewis, Daniel Pett, Ian Richardson, Katherine Robbins, and Rob Webley write on "The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme in England and Wales" (pp. 107–121). They have a section on the Staffordshire Hoard with the subtitle, "archaeology captures the public imagination". The authors respond to criticisms (without citing any studies; see the Forum discussion in Papers from the Institute of Archaeology apparently unknown to the authors) that the scheme has not stopped illegal metal-detecting, described by the term "nighthawking". It would have been helpful for the authors to have discussed the case of the so-called Crosby Garrett helmet (but discussed by me in a later chapter) or the Lenborough Hoard.

I have a chapter on "The market for ancient art" (pp. 187–200). This includes sections on the scale of the market, suggesting that there have been over-estimates used. I also discuss metal-detecting, the impact of the Medici Conspiracy, and the fabrication of object histories.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Aydin Dikmen and the forging of antiquities

Suzan Mazur has published a timely piece on Aydin Dikmen ("Anatolian Stargazer Fakes?—The Aydin Dikmen Connection", Huffington Post September 22, 2017). She raises the spectre that some of the more complete Anatolian "Stargazer" figures could be modern creations. 

Mazur notes the presence of such figures in the hands of Aydin Dikmen who was separately reported as having made the "best fakes" (though not specifically of Anatolian figures). Dikmen's basement in Konya was also reported to have been equipped to make objects from marble.

There are clear intellectual consequences if the insecure "Stargazers" are allowed to join the corpus of Anatolian figures that have been recovered from scientific excavations.

Owners of "Stargazers" that surfaced on the market since 1960 need to check their full histories.

It needs to be stressed that some of these "Stargazers" could indeed be ancient, but the absence of contextual information will make it difficult for their date to be authenticated.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Guennol Stargazer and its findspot

There has been much attention paid to Turkey's claim on the Guennol Stargazer. It needs to be remembered that Pat Getz-Gentle (Getz-Preziosi) appeared to confirm that the figure was found in central Anatolia, i.e. Turkey.

Incidentally, the Guennol Stargazer is reported to have been found with the Stargazer in the Shelby White collection as well as other figures in several other North American private collections.

The authority for Getz-Gentle's statement is unclear. How did she know that the six figures were found together? Did they pass through common hands?

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Guennol Stargazer

Suzan Mazur has written on the Guennol Stargazer, an Anatolian style figure ("Klejman or Hecht?—Who Sold the Guennol Stargazer to Tennis’s Alastair Martin?", Huffington Post September 18, 2017).

G. Max Bernheimer described the piece: "The Guennol Stargazer is an iconic work of art and one universally recognised as the finest Kiliya idol in existence".

The collecting history is:

  • Collection of Alastair Bradley Martin and his wife, Edith
  • Loan to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966-93 (L.66.11)
  • Merrin Gallery, 1993
  • New York private collector, reported to be Michael Steinhardt

The figure was sold at Christie's New York on 28 April 2017 (lot 12) for $14,471,500. The sale was subject to a claim from the Republic of Turkey.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Horse in Ancient Greek Art

Attic red-figured column-krater attributed to the Orestes painter.
Virginia private collection.
Source: NSLM
The exhibition, 'The Horse in Ancient Greek Art', will be on show at the National Sporting Library and Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It will include a number of objects from private collections. I hope that the full collecting histories will be provided.

I looked up the Attic red-figured column-krater attributed to the Orestes painter (and featured on the exhibition website). It surfaced in the Fortuna gallery in Zurich in 1980 (and was re-offered in 1983), and then was for sale in the Royal-Athena Galleries, New York in 1983. It was then offered through the Old World Galleries, New York before being auctioned at Christies (June 8, 2004, lot 328) where it was sold for $47,800. It then passed into a Virginia private collection. What was the collecting history of this krater prior to 1980?

I note that other kraters attributed to this painter were found at Agrigento, Camarina (two), Chiusi and Spina. Where was the Virginia krater found? And when? Its fairly complete nature suggests a tomb is quite likely.

This exhibition reminds us of the material in the Virginia MFA that has been identified by Cambridge-based Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return. 
The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael H. Steinhardt, in 2010. Mr. Steinhardt lent the relic to the Met that year, but after learning that Lebanon was disputing its provenance, he asked the Beierwaltes to take it back and compensate him.
The London based dealer has not been named although other legal papers identify one of their sources (discussed by Christos Tsirogiannis, "Mapping the supply: usual suspects and identified antiquities in ‘reputable’ auction-houses in 2013." Cuadernos de Prehistoria y Arqueología 25 [2015] 107-44 [esp. p. 135] ).

William G. Pearlstein, who is acting for Beierwaltes is reported to have said:
“We believe the district attorney’s position is ill-founded, ... The Beierwaltes are bona fide purchasers with clean hands. By contrast, for more than 50 years, Lebanon has failed take any action domestically or internationally to report any theft of the bull’s head.”
As a point of correction, if the head was published 50 years ago, and the civil war was taking place in the 1980s, then the possible removal from the storage facility was only 30 years ago.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is quoted:
“Upon a Met curator’s discovery that this item on loan may have been stolen from government storage during the Lebanese civil war, the museum took immediate action. We contacted the Lebanese government and the lender, we took the item off display, and we have been working with federal and state authorities, which recently involved delivering the head of the bull to the Manhattan D.A. upon its request.”
I am sure that Beierwaltes will disclose the name of the London-based dealer who supplied the bull's head. From there it should be possible to identify the source of the head.

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The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

Source: Toledo Museum of Art

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Reference
Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics and the Toledo Museum of Art." Journal of Art Crime 17: 77-87.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Metropolitan Museum of Art hands over Paestan krater

Detail of Paestan krater
Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
In May 2014 I commented on a Paestan krater acquired by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art after it had been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis in photographic images seized from Giacomo Medici. Tsirogiannis published his full concerns in the Journal of Art Crime in 2014, but it has taken a further three years for the museum to respond.

The krater showing Dionysos in a hand-drawn cart was purchased in 1989 from the Bothmer Purchase Fund (details from the Museum's website, inv. 1989.11.4). The krater surfaced through Sotheby's New York in June 1989.

It is unclear who consigned the krater to Sotheby's New York.

It has now been revealed that the krater has been handed over to the US authorities after a warrant had been issued (Tom Mashberg, "Ancient Vase Seized From Met Museum on Suspicion It Was Looted", New York Times July 31, 2018).

It appears that the museum did make an attempt to resolve the case in December 2016. Mashberg notes:
The Met, for its part, disputed the suggestion that it had ignored warnings about the vase. Officials said the museum had noticed Dr. Tsirogiannis’s published research in 2014 and, indeed, had been troubled by the reappearance of Mr. Medici’s name in connection with an artifact. They said they reached out informally to the Italian authorities then, but received no response. The museum said that in December 2016 it sent the Italian Culture Ministry a formal request to resolve the case. The Met said it was awaiting guidance from the Italians when Manhattan prosecutors alerted it in June to their own concerns.
It is to be welcomed that the museum has eventually responded to academic concerns.

It is a reminder to other museums that are holding material identified from the Becchina, Medici and Symes photographic archives that they need to engage with the due diligence process and to act ethically and professionally.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Protecting Heritage in Scotland

© David Gill
I could not help noticing that ancient monuments in Scotland not in State Guardianship have prominent reminders about their protection.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Mithras relief from Tor Cervara

Source: MiBACT
A fragmentary relief of Mithras was discovered in 1964 at Tor Cervara on the outskirts of Rome. It was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano.

A further fragment of the relief was acquired by the Badisches Landesmueum in Kalrsruhe in 1976. The source was an unstated Swiss dealer. This fragment has been reunited with the rest of the relief [press release].

Today a further fragment of the relief was reunited with the other pieces. This had been recovered during a raid in Sardinia.

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Tiffany Jenkins on Cultural Property: AJA review

I have noted earlier reviews of Jenkins' Keeping their marbles here. Guy D. Middleton (Newcastle University) has reviewed the book for AJA:
"If anything, Jenkins’ book convinces me that the issue of claims for the return of objects is something best approached on a case-by-case basis, that museums do have a role in soft diplomacy with communities that suffered due to past imperialism and that the efforts at building better relationships between museums and other groups are worthy."

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The Perge Weary Herakles in Context

Boston's Museum of Fine Art returned the upper part of the Weary Herakles to Turkey. Indeed it appeared in the Glories of the Past exhibition.

Susan Wood has now placed the sculpture back in its original context with her discussion, "Klaudios Peison Anetheken: a gift of sculpture at the South Baths of Perge", American Journal of Archaeology 121, 3 (2017) 439-66. The Herakles is illustrated (p. 444, fig. 3; noting formerly Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. no. 1981.783.VR), and listed in the appendix (pp. 460-61, cat. no. 4). Wood notes: 'the Weary Herakles ... must have been illegally excavated and exported from Turkey before 1981, when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, purchased the fragment' (p. 444).

The full collecting history can be found here.

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