Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Ahead to 2009

There is likely to be continuing fallout from the "Medici Conspiracy". Until now the emphasis has been on North American collections (and at least two more institutions have been mentioned in the press) but the focus is likely to turn to Europe (the Ny Carlsberg) and the Far East (the Miho Museum ). A decision about the "Cleveland Apollo" and a Bronze Victory with Cornucopia from the same museum is due this year.

Authorities in Greece also have sets of polaroids identifying material. It is likely that they will initiate further claims. Discussions with the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University are on-going. The New Akropolis Museum will serve as a focus for renewed and stronger calls for the return of the Parthenon sculptures.

The AAMD needs to resolve the issue of long-term loans of archaeological material. And AAMD members should be more transparent about acquisitions and learn to respond to requests for information.

Will the "credit crisis" continue to have an impact on the sale of antiquities? Certainly one London-based auction house needs to improve its due diligence process if it is to avoid the adverse publicity its antiquities department has attracted over the last year.

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