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Journal of Art Crime 2015 (Spring)

The Spring number of the Journal of Art Crime, edited by Noah Charney, is now available.

Here is the table of contents for the latest issue of this bi-annual publication listing the archaeological papers that will be of interest to readers of LM:

ACADEMIC ARTICLES

  • Analyzing Criminality in the Market for Ancient Near Eastern Art by Ryan Casey 
  • Damaging the Archaeological Record: The Lenborough Hoard by David Gill
  • “But We Didn’t Steal It:” Collectors’ Justifications for Purchasing Looted Antiquities by Erin L. Thompson 

REGULAR COLUMNS

  • Context Matters “From Palmyra to Mayfair: The Movement of Antiquities from Syria and Northern Iraq” by David Gill 
  • Nekyia “Duplicates and the Antiquities Market” by Christos Tsirogiannis 


EDITORIAL ESSAYS

  • New Archaeological Discoveries and Cultural Ventures beyond War Threats: A Model of Excellence Stemming from Iraqi-Italian Cooperation by Francesca Coccolo 


REVIEWS

  • Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice Edited by Constantine Sandis Reviewed by Marc Balcells


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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.



"Beating sites to death"

Policy decisions for protecting archaeological sites need to be informed by carefully argued positions based on data. Dr Sam Hardy has produced an important study, “Metal detecting for cultural objects until ‘there is nothing left’: The potential and limits of digital data, netnographic data and market data for analysis”. Arts 7, 3 (2018) [online]. This builds on Hardy's earlier research.

Readers should note Hardy's conclusion about his findings: "they corroborate the detecting community’s own perception that they are ‘beat[ing these sites] to death’".

Pieterjan Deckers, Andres Dobat, Natasha Ferguson, Stijn Heeren, Michael Lewis, and Suzie Thomas may wish to reflect on whether or not their own position is endangering the finite archaeological record. 

Abstract
This methodological study assesses the potential for automatically generated data, netnographic data and market data on metal-detecting to advance cultural property criminology. The method comprises the analysi…