Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ric Elia Reflects on the Antiquities Market

Sofia Cecchi has interviewed Professor Ricardo Elia for the latest Journal of Art Crime (11, 2014, 85-86). Elia reveals that he first came across the issue of looting when he was excavating as a student in what is now FYROM. He reflects on his famous quote, "Collectors are the real looters". He comments on the weakness ("loophole big enough to drive a truck full of loot through") of the AAMD Guidelines over the acquisition of antiquities and ancient art.

He was asked about his quantitative study of Apulian pottery, and he finds claims made by Carlos Picon that acquisitions by New York's MMA are documented as "ridiculous". (It would have been interesting for Elia to have commented on Dyfri Williams' dismissal of his research.)

Elia is firm over the need to criminalize the looting of antiquities and calls for gaol terms and hefty fines.

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