Saturday, July 17, 2010

Operation Andromeda: Japanese Dealer Named

Rome-based investigator Fabio Isman has confirmed to Looting Matters that the identity of the Japanese dealer at the centre of Operation Andromeda is Noryioshi Horiuchi.

In March this year I asked if it was time for the Miho Museum to resolve the issue of disputed antiquities. (See also my article in Present Pasts.) Horiuchi is said to have been a key figure in the acquisition of the Miho Museum's collection.

Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini write in The Medici Conspiracy (p. 295):
Among the Becchina documents is an agreement signed after a creditors' meeting held in Geneva in 1991. This was a meeting held between four creditors—all Swiss antiquities dealers, of which Becchina was one—called because Horiuchi owed each of them substantial amounts of money and showed no prospect of paying.
It now looks as Horiuchi's stock has been dented by a further 15 million euros. What is more shocking is that 1500 items from the raided stock in the Geneva Freeport looked as if it came from Italy.

The curatorial staff at the Miho Museum would be sensible to come to an amicable agreement with Italy before there are any further damaging revelations.

Image
© MiBAC / Carabinieri


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1 comment:

fabio2.isman said...

thanks for the "Roma-based investigator"; but I am a journalist and a writer only. Horiuchi had an open bill with Becchina; in 1990, his debt was 1,5 million of Swiss Francs. He is the biggest supplier of Miho Museum, for whom bought, july 1994, Christie's London, the last of nine Layard's reliefs from Ninive, that beleived disappeared, but had been found in the Dorset region, for something like 12 million dollars, till now a world record. You can see the relief (but not read his story) on the museum's website.

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