Saturday, 18 February 2012

Olympia theft: "it will be really difficult to get rid of them"

© David Gill
Some of the images of objects stolen from one of the museums in Olympia can now be seen in a video on (UK) Channel 4's website. Cambridge researcher Christos Tsirogiannis makes the important point that the objects are well documented and will be recognised if they are offered for sale.

This theft from a world-class heritage site is a crime against cosmospolitan society (not least in an Olympic year). Civilised commentators will condemn this act without reservation.

A short statement (in Greek) is available from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

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I agree entirely with your view and sentiments regarding this outrageous and brazen act of robbery.

But what do you mean by "cosmopolitan society?"

Larry Rothfield said...

It is true that they will be difficult to sell on any licit market, and that is helpful, documentation does not mean it is impossible for criminals to profit from antiquities theft. The Olympia antiquities may have been stolen to order for a collector who has already paid, or they may be offered for sale to a collector who has no plan to ever resell them, or they may be sold to one of the mafias (we know they use artworks and antiquities as a form of currency amongst themselves). Or they may simply be stockpiled for a few decades until a buyer can be found after the heat dies down, as is the case with much of what has been looted from the Iraq Museum.

Xabi said...

Dear David,

i just found the list of the stolen artefacts on the net.
You might find a way to spread it a bit.


An amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter

Photo: Becchina Archive Source: Christos Tsirogiannis An Attic black-figured amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter has b...