Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tsirogiannis on Looted Antiquities and the Market

The latest number (May / June 2016) of British Archaeology has an extended interview with Dr Christos Tsirogiannis ('Pots and robbers: how to defeat the tainted antiquities market'). The report includes fresh images from the seized Symes assets in Switzerland.

Tsirogiannis reflects on the use of the Medici dossier and the Becchina archive for identifying recently surfaced antiquities.

James Ede and Julian Ratcliffe (Art Lost Register) are interviewed and speak about their perception of the archives. Ratcliffe suggests that the use of the archives to identify pieces only serves to "embarrass" members of the antiquities trade.

Tsirogiannis responds by pointing out the less than helpful way that certain named auction houses have responded when information has been passed to them.

There is a section in the report stating 'Christie's pledges to defeat trafficking'. The auction house is very defensive over criticisms of its due diligence process (highlighted again this week by failing to spot a very obvious ex-Medici piece with its Sotheby's London former collecting history).

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