Archive for ‘News & Analysis’

06/09/2019

there are problems with the presentation of evidence by police and journalists in Turkey, in the case that inadvertently involves Gökhan Sarıgöl

The investigation is still developing and I may write a separate update before the conclusion of the case. Nevertheless, it is important to note that, as I prove with photographs from Gökhan Sarıgöl and open-source evidence, there are problems with the presentation of evidence by police and journalists in the case that inadvertently involves him. The police’s presentation of at least one object in the seizure is misleading, the police’s presentation of the seizure itself is misleading and journalists’ appropriation of an irrelevant photograph is misleading.

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05/08/2019

immoral, failed refugee policy in Europe and subsistence trafficking of fake antiquities by asylum-seekers from North Africa and West Asia

When I was discussing subsistence trafficking of cultural objects by asylum-seekers with students of the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, I was reminded of a case from 2015, when Mesopotamian-style figurines were found in a tent (šotorov) at a reception centre (sprejemnem centru) for refugees (begunce) in Gruškovje, Slovenia. When they were found, they were believed to be ‘Sumerian statues of great historical value that could have been 4,500 years old [sumerske kipce velike zgodovinske vrednosti, ki bi lahko bili stari 4.500 let]’.

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09/01/2019

Adnan Oktar (or Harun Yahya), truckloads of ‘antiquities’ and a ‘stolen’ painting

When I summarily checked the coverage of cultural property crime in Russia-controlled, Turkish-language Sputnik News, I was reminded of the ongoing case against Islamic televangelist cult leader (and, inevitably, conspiracy theorist) Adnan Oktar (who is also referred to as Adnan Hoca and also operates as Harun Yahya and Adnan Harun Yahya).

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03/01/2019

EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues on interoperability of systems for combating illicit trafficking of cultural objects

crisis

Brazil has endured chronic crisis, including widespread crime and violence in society and money-laundering and other corrupt criminality throughout its political elite, which has contributed to popular authoritarianism. And it is entering acute crisis.

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24/12/2018

antiquities dealer Fuat Aydıner and 14,000 cultural objects

The basics of this case are [had appeared to be] fairly simple, yet its implications may [still] be far-reaching, if it is ever satisfactorily concluded, whether it results in convictions or acquittals. This post covers the sources; the question of whether it is the biggest case in the history of the Republic of Turkey (which it may be, by one practically immeasurable definition); a summary of the priceless objects and fake objects that have been seized; a summary of the metal-detectors, money, guns and drugs that have been seized; and a summary of the suspects [people whose names have been reported in relation to the investigation], with separate sections on unspecified businessman Onur Uğurlu, antiquities dealer Fuat Aydıner and aviation businessman Gökhan Sarıgöl. Then, there is a note on conspiracy and coincidence.

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21/11/2018

Turkey’s ‘operation against Anadolu Kültür’s demand… to confront the past’

Or: a long aside on (dis)trust and (un)freedom in Turkey.

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19/11/2018

prosecutors and prosecutions in antiquities trafficking cases in Turkey: uncertainty in information, uncertainty in rule of law

As BBC News correspondent Mark Lowen has explained, the citizens of Turkey are both ‘addicted to conspiracy theories’ and ‘besieged by “fake news”‘. The problem is worsened by government-aligned ‘fake fact-checkers’, while it is resisted by sincere truth-seekers such as the citizen journalists of Teyit (Confirmation or Verification).

While news about cultural property crime in Turkey is blighted more by churnalism than by propaganda, like everything else, it is burdened by uncertainty of information and uncertainty of rule of law. This is demonstrated by the career of one prosecutor, who has hit the headlines once more.

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15/08/2018

antiquities trafficking in the digital age

In World Politics Review, anthropologists Amr Al-Azm (@alazmamr) and Katie Paul (@AnthroPaulicy) have previewed their ongoing investigations into the Middle East’s other Facebook revolution: antiquities trafficking in the digital age, where looters, sellers and buyers are exploiting social networks such as Facebook and smartphone apps such as Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp, as well as online platforms such as eBay, Etsy and LiveAuctioneers.

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06/08/2018

technical updates to legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases

Just in case feed-readers don’t otherwise see, I’ve made some technical updates to the post on legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases.

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04/08/2018

legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases

On the 26th of July 2018, a court in Greece judged that Despina Papadimitriou and Dimitri Papadimitriou were guilty of “embezzlement of monuments” or “misappropriation of monuments” (υπεξαίρεση μνημείων) in the Schinoussa case, which originated in an investigation into trading by Papadimitriou family relative Christo Michaelides. When convicted, Despina and Dimitri were given suspended sentences of four years’ imprisonment.

On the 27th, forensic archaeologist and expert witness Christos Tsirogiannis was sent a letter by Bird and Bird LLP, the legal representatives of deceased Christo Michaelides’s sister Despina Papadimitriou, nephew Dimitri Papadimitriou, nephew Alexander Papadimitriou and niece Angeliki Papadimitriou (the Papadimitriou family).

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