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Looting Matters: Second Birthday

Looting Matters is two today with over 650 postings. There are on average some 9000 visits a month excluding email subscribers - over 150000 visits have been made in the last 18 months. The major development has been the partnership with PR Newswire which has broadened the readership.

Thank you for your support, readership and comments. Please do continue to send in your suggestions for stories which are always welcome.

Diolch yn fawr fach.

Comments

DR.KWAME OPOKU said…
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent work you have been doing in the last few years. What pleases me most is that whatever you write, even if I do not agree with you, I feel instantaneously that this is coming from someone educated in the good Western universities as I know them. This cannot be said about a lot of pieces on cultural matters on the internet. One only needs to look at some of the recent pieces on the New Acropolis Museum appearing at some sites. It seems the magnificent museum is preventing a few persons from considering restitution matters in a rational way.

Once again, congratulations and thanks.

Kwame Opoku
Alun said…
Congratulations! I hope this will be around for many more years.
Michael said…
Congratulations on reaching this landmark! I have enjoyed your coverage since I started reading a few months back.

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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 …

Sardinian warrior from "old Swiss collection"

One of the Sardinian bronzes of a warrior was seized from an as yet unnamed Manahattan gallery. It appears to be the one that passed through the Royal-Athena Gallery: Art of the Ancient World 23 (2012) no. 71. The collecting history for that warrior suggests that it was acquired in 1990 from a private collection in Geneva.

Other clues suggested that the warrior has resided in a New York private collection.

The identity of the private collection in Geneva will no doubt be telling.

The warrior also features in this news story: Jennifer Peltz, "Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC", ABC News May 25 2017.

Attic amphora handed back to Italians

The research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has led to the return of an Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Harrow painter, to Italy (Tom Mashberg, "Stolen Etruscan Vessel to Be Returned to Italy", New York Times March 16, 2017).

The amphora is known to have passed through the hands of Swiss-based dealer Gianfranco Becchina in 1993, and then through a New York gallery around 2000 (although its movements between those dates are as yet undisclosed).

During the ceremony, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the District Attorney stated:
“When looters overrun historic sites, mine sacred spaces for prized relics, and peddle stolen property for top dollar, they do so with the implicit endorsement of all those who knowingly trade in stolen antiquities” More research clearly needs to be conducted on how material handled by Becchina passed into the North American market and into the hands of private and public collectors.