Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looting Matters: Looking Ahead to 2011

There are several issues that are likely to be addressed.

First, there appears to be some consensus that the (inappropriately named) Treasure Act for England and Wales needs to be revised. Lord Renfrew is a key voice in the House of Lords. The Crosby Garrett helmet has highlighted weaknesses in the present system.

Second, more "toxic antiquities" are likely to surface. Auction-houses and dealers will need to improve their due diligence procedures.

Third, there are some outstanding issues that will need to be resolved: the Minneapolis krater, the Minoan larnax in Atlanta, and the St Louis mummy mask. The Miho Museum and Copenhagen will also need to reconsider their acquisitions.

Fourth, the AAMD needs to tighten up its due diligence procedures relating to long-term loans (see, e.g. the Dioskouroi, the Trebenishte style krater).

Fifth, Zahi Hawass would like to see material from Saqqara returned to Egypt.

No doubt there will be continued calls for the return of "historic" acquisitions to their countries of origin.

I remain grateful to readers for suggested topics, stories and leads.


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