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Showing posts from December, 2017

Looting Matters: looking back on 2017

My predictions for 2017 make a good introduction: further seizures as a result of the photographic archives, heritage crime at archaeological sites in the UK, and moves in Westminster to address the protection of cultural property in time of war. I have not covered the latter on LM as some of the discussions are sensitive.

Seizures
The year started with the news of several thousand seizures in a Europe wide Operation Pandora. A major set of seizures were made on the collection formed by the Hobby Lobby.

Smaller seizures included sculptures from Eshmun in the Lebanon, and a fragment of a Persepolis relief.

A head of Drusus Minor was returned to Italy from the Cleveland Museum of Art after it was realised that it had come from a known excavation and had been removed from the archaeological store.

A series of objects were seized from an unnamed Manhattan gallery (Sardinian warrior, Paestan lekythos, Apulian kantharos from the 'J.M.E. collection'). Another seizure included an Attic…

Responsible metal-detecting: a revised code of practice

The annual heritage day at the RSA earlier this month provided an opportunity to discuss the new Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales (2017) on an informal basis.

The endorsements of the revised code are notable by the absence of certain organisations:
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales / PAS Cymru, Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, British Museum / Portable Antiquities Scheme, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Council for British Archaeology, Country Land & Business Association, Institute for Archaeology (University College London), Historic England, National Farmers Union, Royal Commission on the Historical & Ancient Monuments of Wales, Society of Museum Archaeologists. The endorsement by UCL's Institute of Archaeology is interesting given the forum piece on metal-detecting that appeared in the Papers of the Institute of Archaeology(and that is largely uncited by members of PAS although is noted by arch…

An athlete, Robin Symes and the Paris market

Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has identified a Roman marble athlete from the Robin Symes archive. The statue is due to be auctioned in Paris this Friday, 8 December 2017 (Drouot lot 292).

The history of the statue is provided:
Royal Athena Galleries, New York:  Art of the Ancient World 4 (1995), p.75-76, lot n°236. This does not explain why the statue appeared in the confiscated Symes archive. 
Tsirogiannis has also spotted that the statue surfaced at Sotheby's in London Sotheby's on 5th of July 1982. lot 397. Who consigned the statue to that sale? Why does the Paris description fail to mention the Sotheby's information? Would it raise questions about how it surfaced?

Where was the statue between 1982 and 1995?

I understand that the French authorities have been informed about the sale.