Archive for December, 2015

December 23, 2015

Syria-Lebanon antiquities smuggling involves transport in meat trucks as well as shipment in private planes

I noted before that conflict antiquities trafficking involves ‘petty theft as well as grand larceny, burglaries by fundraisers outside as well as plunder by combatants in the war zone’. Likewise, it’s important to note that it involves transport in meat trucks as well as shipment in private planes.

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December 22, 2015

The conflict antiquities trade: a historical overview

The International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods has published a book on countering the illicit traffic in cultural goods: the global challenge of protecting the world’s heritage (handled by France Desmarais, Raphaël Roig, Susanne Poverlein, Aedin Mac Devitt and Mélanie Foehn). It gave me the opportunity to provide a historical overview of the conflict antiquities trade.

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December 14, 2015

Thank you, Sussex Police, for confirming that I am not a terrorist

The last time that (I know) someone read my work over my shoulder, they struck up conversation. This time, they did not.

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December 10, 2015

Is the “wine chalice” “from Palmyra Museum” a modern bucket from someone’s house?

Last week, Classical archaeologist and art historian Vladimir Stissi looked at the ‘pretty crude fakes’ “from Palmyra Museum”. Highlighting the importance of scales in photos, Stissi observed,

As far as I can judge from the photo, the bucket does not look like a fake in the strict sense, but rather like a 19th-20th century decorative household utensil, or kitsch for domestic display. The patina looks very un-ancient. The relief decoration seems to be freely based on famous Roman sculptures.

December 10, 2015

Schlagzeile geht schneller als Recherche – über die journalistische Arbeit zum Antikenraub [Headlines move faster than research – on journalistic work on antiquities looting]

Esther Saoub and Amir Musawy have published a clear, helpful (German-language) article about Abu Sayyaf’s antiquities stash and how headlines move faster than research – on journalistic work on antiquities looting [Schlagzeile geht schneller als Recherche – über die journalistische Arbeit zum Antikenraub].

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December 6, 2015

Unevidenced suspicion of IS-stolen art, antiquities in Sweden (Misstanke: IS-stulen konst i Sverige)

On my last day in Lebanon, where I’ve been taking part in some meetings on cultural destruction and helping with some training on antiquities trafficking, this news feels perfectly timed.

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