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"Auction houses implement the highest standards of due diligence"

Sue McGovern has been contributing to the debate over the appearance (or not) of archaeological material from Syria and Iraq on the western markets. She makes the claim:
In the past, the trade has not always had a good record in dealing with illicit material but over the past 15 years this has changed dramatically and continues to do so: Auction houses implement the highest standards of due diligence.
McGovern may be unaware of the regular need for one major NYC auction house to withdraw lots because of their associations with Italy. This suggests that the due diligence process for that organisation is not yet at a point that is sufficiently robust.

The topic has been addressed on a regular basis by Glasgow University researcher Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, most recently in the latest number of the Journal of Art Crime (see here). For a recent example in New York see here.

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