Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cuneiform tablets under invesitgation

It is being reported that a consignment of 200-300 cuneiform tablets were intercepted by US Customs in Memphis ("Exclusive: Feds Investigate Hobby Lobby Boss for Illicit Artifacts", Daily Beast October 26 2015). Although the interception took place in 2011 the case has not yet been resolved.

It appears that the tablets were intended for the proposed Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.

The report claims to have seen the consignment details that describe the tablets as 'hand-crafted clay tiles' valued at c. $300.

I have yet to read clarification on the detail of this report.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Christie's withdraw lots from antiquities sale

Christie's has withdrawn the four lots highlighted on LM from its sale of antiquities in London day. They could have been expected to fetch some £50,000 but will now have lost most, if not all, of their value.

It is unclear if the vendor or vendors will be returning the pieces to Italy.

This case once again highlights the weaknesses in Christie's due diligence process. This issue is of particular concern given the reassurances that are being given over the ability to identify surfacing antiquities derived from Syria.

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