Skip to main content

eBay and the cuneiform tablet

The BBC has reported that the sale of a cuneiform tablet "thought to have been smuggled from Iraq" has been stopped ("eBay Iraq relic auction stopped", December 18, 2007). Apparently "Police confiscated the tablet at a storage facility in Zurich".

The seller has not been named, but does "a storage facility" hint at more than a private address?

To what extent does eBay continue to serve as a conduit of newly surfaced antiquities?

For further comments - though six years old - on this means of selling see C. Chippindale and D.W.J. Gill, "On-line auctions: a new venue for the antiquities market", Culture Without Context 9 (Autumn 2001).

Comments

Hi,
In french, cuneiform tablets on a treasure hunting forum.

http://www.la-detection.com/dp/message-27545.htm
and
http://www.la-detection.com/dp/message-61356.htm

looting!

"Elles ont été trouvées, sur les lieux de Babylone, par l’un de mes proches" traduction: "They were found, on the spot of Babylon, by one of my close relations"

I congratulate you for your excellent blog.

Happy New Year!
David Gill said…
The discussion links are:

http://www.la-detection.com/dp/message-27545.htm
and
http://www.la-detection.com/dp/message-61356.htm

Thank you for sharing this discussion.

And Happy New Year!

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Mithras relief from Tor Cervara

A fragmentary relief of Mithras was discovered in 1964 at Tor Cervara on the outskirts of Rome. It was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano.

A further fragment of the relief was acquired by the Badisches Landesmueum in Kalrsruhe in 1976. The source was an unstated Swiss dealer. This fragment has been reunited with the rest of the relief [press release].

Today a further fragment of the relief was reunited with the other pieces. This had been recovered during a raid in Sardinia.

The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Reference
Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics an…