Friday, October 29, 2010

From Saqqara to Barcelona

I am grateful to my postgraduate students for pointing me to another Barcelona story ("Pillaged ancient Egyptian artefacts discovered in Spain", BBC News September 15, 2010). It appears that Josep Cervelló, an Egyptologist, recognised some pieces in the window of a gallery in the city ("La redención de Imephor", El Pais September 16, 2010). Cervelló had worked at Saqqara until the excavation was disrupted by looting in 1999. The name (Imephor) on one of the pieces in the Barcelona gallery "made him suspect" that these newly surfaced pieces came from the site. The Barcelona galerista claimed that the items had been acquired on the London market ("Un saqueo con escala en Londres", El Pais September 16, 2010). A police officer claimed that the galerista had acted in "good faith" ("Actuó de buena fe"). The 8 limestone fragments were on sale for between 2000 and 10000 Euros ("Pieces of ancient Egyptian necropolis found in Spain: police", AFP September 15, 2010).

This case seems to be unrelated to the Egyptian coffin seized in Florida after being consigned by a Barcelona galerista.

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