Skip to main content

IADAA makes its position clear


The International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) has updated its website. It now includes a section on "A critical eye towards the cultural property discussion" with a selection of "scolars' [sic.] opinions".

The majority of the quotations (Kwame Anthony Appiah; Sir John Boardman; James Cuno; Neil MacGregor; Philippe de Montebello; David I. Owen; James C. Y. Watt) come from James Cuno (ed.), Whose Culture? The promise of museums and the debate over antiquities (Princeton University Press, 2009). This volume is well known for its omission of several key contributions from the event. The web officer for the IADAA could, perhaps, add something from my review of the volume that appeared in the Fall number of the Journal of Art Crime (2009).
If the issue under debate is difficult and divisive, then one way to create order is to make it partial and partisan, inviting a range of contributors whose varied views all lie together on one side of the division. With the other side thereby silent, the debate can happily come to a reasonably strong consensus. This is that book. The other view of the central issue is absent, that the recent past of collecting antiquities in too many museums has been a story of looting, smuggling and unfair dealing.
The IADAA has helpfully indicated that it is deaf to those who do not hold the now untenable and flawed Cuno position.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

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…