Skip to main content

Objects identified from the Medici Dossier

Christos Tsirogiannis and I have reviewed the way that objects surfacing on the antiquities market can be identified through the Medici Dossier. It notes that some of the databases have been using information from the dossier, and that information has in some cases been passed to auction houses. This suggests that there needs to be an improved due diligence process for those involved with the market.

Gill, D. W. J., and C. Tsirogiannis. 2016. "Polaroids from the Medici dossier: continued sightings on the market." In Art crime: terrorists, tomb raiders, forgers and thieves, edited by N. Charney: 229-39. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

The paper is a revision of:
Gill, D. W. J., and C. Tsirogiannis. 2011. "Polaroids from the Medici Dossier: continued sightings on the market." Journal of Art Crime 5: 27-33.

Full details of the book can be found here.

Other contributors:

  • George H.O. Abungu, Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants, Kenya 
  • Stefano Alessandrini, Specialist Consultant to the Ministero per i Beni Culturali and the Advocate General 
  • Maurizio Fiorilli, Italy 
  • Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, New York County District Attorney's Office, USA 
  • Toby J.A. Bull, Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong SAR 
  • Neil Brodie, University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Duncan Chappell, Australian Institute of Criminology 
  • Noah Charney, Association for Research into Crimes against Art 
  • Simon A. Cole, Newkirk Center for Science and Society, USA 
  • Tess Davis, University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Asif Efrat, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel 
  • Paolo Girogio Ferri, Former Italian State Prosecutor 
  • David Gill, University Campus Suffolk, UK 
  • Blake Gopnik, Art Critic 
  • Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, Harvard University, USA 
  • Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield 
  • Jerome Hasler, Art Recovery Group International 
  • Charles Hill, Formerly London Metropolitan Police, UK 
  • Saskia Hufnagel, Queen Mary University London, UK 
  • Martin Kemp, University of Oxford, UK 
  • John Kerr, University of Roehampton, UK 
  • Thierry Lenain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium 
  • Simon Mackenzie, University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Christopher A. Marinello, Art Recovery Group International 
  • Erik Nemth, Independent Scholar 
  • Vernon Rapley, Victoria and Albert Museum, UK 
  • Lawrence Rothfield, University of Chicago, USA 
  • Laurie W. Rush, US Army 
  • Francesco Rutelli, Associazione Priorita' Cultura, Italy 
  • Howard Spiegler, Herrick, Feinstein's International Art Law Group 
  • Arthur Tompkins, District Court Judge, New Zealand 
  • Christos Tsirogiannis, University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Bill Wei, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands



Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Getty Kouros: "The moral is, never ever buy a piece without a provenance"

In the wake of the 1992 Athens conference to discuss the Getty kouros (85.AA.40), one of the delegates, a "distinguished" American museum curator, was quoted ("Greek sculpture; the age-old question", The Economist June 20, 1992):
The moral is, never ever buy a piece without a provenance.
The recent discussions about the return of antiquities from North American museums to Italy and Greece may seem far removed from the acquisition of what appears to be a forged archaic Greek sculpture in the 1980s. However, there are some surprising overlaps.

The statue arrived at the Getty on September 18, 1983 in seven pieces. True (1993: 11) subsequently asked two questions:
Where was it found? As it was said to have been in a Swiss private collection for fifty years, why had it never been reassembled, though it was virtually complete?
A similar statue surfacing in the 1930s
A decision was taken to acquire the kouros in 1985. The official Getty line at the time (and reported in Russell…

Symes and a Roman medical set

Pierre Bergé & Associés of Paris are offering a rare Roman bronze medical set (16 May 2018, lot 236). Its recorded history is: "Ancienne collection Hishiguro, Tokyo, 1992". The catalogue entry helpfully informs us that the set probably came from a burial ("Cette trousse de chirurgien a probablement été découverte dans une sépulture ...").

The set appears to be the one that has been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogannis from an image in the Schinousa archive thus linking it to Robin Symes.

Given that the catalogue entry suggests that this piece came from a funerary context and that the history of the piece can only be traced back to 1992 (and not to 1970), questions are being raised about the set's origins.

What due diligence was conducted on the medical set prior to offering it for sale? Did Symes sell the set to Hishiguro? How did Symes obtain the set? Who sold it to him?

I understand that the appropriate authorities in France are being informed about the …

The Minoan Larnax and the Michael C. Carlos Museum

I was recently asked to comment on the acquisition of recently surfaced antiquities in Greece as part of an interview. One of the examples I gave was the Minoan larnax that was acquired by the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Although this piece has been discussed in the Greek press, the museum has not yet responded to the apparent identification in the Becchina archive.

Is the time now right for the Michael C. Carlos Museum or the wider authorities at Emory University to negotiate the return of this impressive piece so that it can be placed on display in a museum in Greece?