Skip to main content

No cover up: coin conspiracy theory falls

I note that the Courthouse News service is reporting that there was no concealment of evidence as alleged by the IAPN, the PNG and the ACCG. This must come as a blow to the paid Washington lobbyist who has argued for a cover-up. This will hopefully bring an end to the shameful attack on the late Dr Danielle Parks whose emails have been the subject of interest by the request made by the three organizations. | |
Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know


Nathan Elkins said…
Danielle Parks, a fellow alumna from the University of Missouri, was an expert on the ancient coinage of Cyprus. Naturally, the Department of State should consult with recognized experts on potential agreements with nations such as Cyprus. Thus, the fact that some sort of cabal was ever alleged in the first place is indeed absurd and shameful. Thank you for reporting this.
I'm not sure why seeking Parks' email communications with a State Department Employee that appear to discuss her lobbying for the inclusion of coins in the Cypriot MOU BEFORE Cyprus asked for import restrictions "constitute an attack" of any sort. If there was nothing to hide, why not produce the email chain in full? And if you read the opinion, you would note the Court's only finding was that parts of the discussion were protected from release under FOIA based on a request for confidentiality that the State Department employee now claims (some 5 years after the fact) that Parks made. How he just rememberd this and why the Government did not submit his own affidavit on that point but rather relied on another State Department employee to convey that information remain unresolved.

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 …

Sardinian warrior from "old Swiss collection"

One of the Sardinian bronzes of a warrior was seized from an as yet unnamed Manahattan gallery. It appears to be the one that passed through the Royal-Athena Gallery: Art of the Ancient World 23 (2012) no. 71. The collecting history for that warrior suggests that it was acquired in 1990 from a private collection in Geneva.

Other clues suggested that the warrior has resided in a New York private collection.

The identity of the private collection in Geneva will no doubt be telling.

The warrior also features in this news story: Jennifer Peltz, "Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC", ABC News May 25 2017.

Attic amphora handed back to Italians

The research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has led to the return of an Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Harrow painter, to Italy (Tom Mashberg, "Stolen Etruscan Vessel to Be Returned to Italy", New York Times March 16, 2017).

The amphora is known to have passed through the hands of Swiss-based dealer Gianfranco Becchina in 1993, and then through a New York gallery around 2000 (although its movements between those dates are as yet undisclosed).

During the ceremony, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the District Attorney stated:
“When looters overrun historic sites, mine sacred spaces for prized relics, and peddle stolen property for top dollar, they do so with the implicit endorsement of all those who knowingly trade in stolen antiquities” More research clearly needs to be conducted on how material handled by Becchina passed into the North American market and into the hands of private and public collectors.