Archive for April, 2012

April 19, 2012

Ghislain Noyer studies the Gauin Affair: a false controversy; and unwitting reproduction of propaganda?

Update (8th February 2016): I had given up on ever getting to the bottom of this story. Prompted by an enquiry from a reader, I revisited this case and found
a post on le Monde, which had been published just after I had given up (30th April 2012). Au Fil du Bosphore makes the convincing case that ‘Maxime Gauin may very well have fabricated this false report himself [Maxime Gauin aurait très bien pu fabriquer ce faux rapport lui-même]’.

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April 14, 2012

40 people against a wave of organised antiquities trafficking is a joke

While I was away, the Inter Press Services’s (IPS) Apostolis Fotiadis summarised how the Austerity Plan Decapitates Greek Cultural Heritage. He noted that the cultural heritage sector had already been understaffed and underfunded. And he explained how the staff and funding cuts, and structural reorganisations endangered cultural property protection: soon, ‘the Ministry of Culture will be unable to cover even its basic operational functions’.

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April 6, 2012

Don’t mention the feet! I mentioned them once, but I think I got away with it. Cambodia looting and academic collusion.

Chasing Aphrodite has a great piece on a fascinating (i.e. ugly) case, in which Sotheby’s auction house’s internal e-mails reveal that it knew it was handling and trying to sell a ‘definitely stolen’ statue. I just want to tease out some of the lowlights of academic collusion in this particular case of illicit antiquities trafficking and trading.

Remarkably, Dr. Emma Bunker, the scholar who affirmed that the statue was ‘definitely stolen’, variously advised Sotheby’s: not to sell the statue publicly; to sell the statue publicly, but not to acknowledge the existence of a crime scene; and to ignore legal advice.

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April 5, 2012

Armenian nationalist forgery of French intelligence in order to discredit French denier of Armenian Genocide?

Update (8th February 2016): I had given up on ever getting to the bottom of this story. Prompted by an enquiry from a reader, I revisited this case and found
a post on le Monde, which had been published just after I had given up (30th April 2012). Au Fil du Bosphore makes the convincing case that ‘Maxime Gauin may very well have fabricated this false report himself [Maxime Gauin aurait très bien pu fabriquer ce faux rapport lui-même]’.

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April 3, 2012

looting, the subsistence digging economy in Mali; and stemming the flow of looted antiquities from Mali to the USA

I’d been planning on blogging about looting in Mali later, but Donna Yates asked if I was going to comment on the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee’s call for comments on its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mali. So, here is a summary of the looting crisis in Mali, and the role of the antiquities market in the U.S. (and elsewhere); here is my comment on the USA-Mali MOU.

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April 2, 2012

Greek police search Switzerland for artefacts stolen from Olympia museum

A week ago, it was reported that Greek police were searching Switzerland for artefacts stolen from the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games; but there have been no reports of recovery of artefacts, or arrests of suspects.

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April 2, 2012

agreement between Archaeological Association of Nigeria, and Nigerian National Commission and Goethe University

Arts/media consultant Tajudeen Sowole has reported a ‘truce‘ between the stakeholders(1) in the controversy over German archaeologists’ work in Nigeria(2); the issue ‘appears to have been resolved’. I do not want to be undiplomatic, and thereby to endanger that truce; but, for the record, I do want to clarify the nature of the truce.

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April 1, 2012

French intelligence blacklists Turkish diaspora nationalist movements as Turkish state agents provocateurs?

According to a leaked report, French intelligence has blacklisted certain Turkish diaspora nationalist movements as Turkish state agents provocateurs.

Update (8th February 2016): I had given up on ever getting to the bottom of this story. Prompted by an enquiry from a reader, I revisited this case and found
a post on le Monde, which had been published just after I had given up (30th April 2012). Au Fil du Bosphore makes the convincing case that ‘Maxime Gauin may very well have fabricated this false report himself [Maxime Gauin aurait très bien pu fabriquer ce faux rapport lui-même]’.

read more »

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