Monday, February 7, 2011

IADAA condemns looting in Egypt

Last week the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) issued a statement about the alleged looting of museums, archaeological stores and archaeological sites in Egypt.
The members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) are deeply concerned at seeing pictures of the looted rooms in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. We are dismayed at the damage looting will cause at remote excavations and museums. Such criminal activity is not only a catastrophe for scholarship but an attack on an important part of the world’s cultural heritage. Raids on poorly protected museums, magazines and excavations constitute theft from the Egyptian state and people.

The IADAA condemns such looting in the strongest possible terms and deplores the reports that the necessary security is lacking.
The statement adds:
With immediate effect IADAA offers utmost diligence cooperation and support in order to track objects, which might have been smuggled out of the country, and all possible cooperation to restore them to their legal owner.
One solution would be for IADAA members to insist on documented collecting histories for Egyptian material.

It should be noted that a former (temporary?) IADAA Spanish member currently appears to hold material listed on the SCA's website.

The IADAA has yet to comment on the Italian news story about recently-surfaced antiquities and one of its North American members. Will the IADAA also be offering the Italian authorities "utmost diligence cooperation and support in order to track objects, which might have been smuggled out of the country, and all possible cooperation to restore them to their legal owner"?

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