Renfrew is quoted from his speech in the House of Lords:
Bonhams the auctioneers withdrew from its London antiquities sale at the request of the Italian Government some 10 antiquities, among them items formerly owned by the now sadly notorious dealer Mr Robin Symes. I understand that the Italian authorities had already made representations to the Home Office about several warehouses in London containing antiquities formerly in his ownership—many of them, it is alleged, illegally excavated in Italy.Does this need further legislation? A better solution would be for those dealing in archaeological material to show a more rigorous level of due diligence.
What is an auctioneer in this country doing, selling antiquities without a documented provenance? It is scandalous that this practice continues, and to put an end to it is one purpose of this amendment. There are serious matters here, which demand government attention.