Skip to main content

"Reputable and responsible" dealer faces deportation

London-based antiquities dealer, Malcolm Hay is facing deportation to Greece (Dalya Alberge, "D-day looms for antiquities dealer facing jail in Greece", The Guardian February 7, 2011). Alberge writes:
Malcolm Hay, 60, an Oxford-educated trader who has sold antiquities to museums worldwide, was arrested in 2007 – eight years after he sold broken pottery pieces to the dealer.

He claims the trader, who bought hundreds of shards from him, used his invoice falsely as "whitewashing" for valuable unprovenanced items that were later found in her shop by Greek police.
The story has appeared in the mainstream London press before (Richard Edwards and Jackie Williams, "I sold junk. Now I face four years in Greek jail, says antiques dealer", The Daily Telegraph August 28, 2010 [online version]).
Mr Hay showed The Daily Telegraph the invoice of the transaction at the centre of the claims by Greek authorities.
It shows that on July 15, 1999, he sold a female trader from Athens 582 pieces of pot and other small items for £1,800. He said he bought them at fairs and described the artefacts as "junk".
Hay was detained when he flew into London City Airport ("Greek court gives UK dealer three years in prison", Antiques Trade Gazette March 23, 2009).
... he described how, on July 14, 2007, returning to London’s City Airport from abroad, he was told that there was a problem with his passport. It turned out to be a delaying tactic while the police were alerted. After an hour’s wait, officers armed with automatic weapons arrived and told Mr Hay that he was the subject of an EAW [European Arrest Warrant]. He was handcuffed and taken to Stratford police station where he was held for two days in the cells and then taken before an extradition tribunal.
An earlier account appears here: "Greek courts use anti-terror rules in bid to have dealer extradited", Antiques Trade Gazette February 18, 2008.

Rick Witschonke revealed in a comment (September 2, 2010) to Paul Barford's blog that the Athens dealer was "Ms. Patrikiades". This was confirmed in a statement to the Antiques Trade Gazette ("Dealer facing four years in a Greek jail appeals over lack of evidence", November 22, 2010).
Mr Hay's case centres on a transaction between him and Athens-based antiquities dealer Anna Patrikiadou, a regular client of his, dating to 1999.

According to Mr Hay, he issued Mrs Patrikiadou with an invoice for a small number of minor artefacts and broken pieces which he sold to her for £1880 when she visited him in London. She took the items away in two small packages weighing a total of around 15 kilos, he told the court through his lawyers.

In her evidence, however, Mrs Patrikiadou said the invoice referred to a much larger consignment of artefacts she bought from Mr Hay, valued at more than 190,000 euros at 1999 prices. It was this that the Greek authorities seized from her Athens gallery in 2000, a year after it had been given the all-clear by the Inspectorate of Antiquities Sales. She would have needed to get clearance in order to acquire a licence to sell the items



Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.