Posts tagged ‘China’

December 15, 2016

a dismembered Buddha from Indonesia sold for 246 per cent more than its estimate at Christie’s Paris auction

By the market’s seemingly only definition, profit, Christie’s Paris auction of sacred images and other antiquities from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet was a success. By any other definition, its results were more questionable.

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December 14, 2016

Christie’s Paris auction of sacred images and other antiquities from Asia, 14th December 2016

Today, Christie’s Paris auction house is offering sacred images and other antiquities from Asia, specifically Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet. Almost none of the 88 objects has a secure and complete collecting history. Numerous objects appear to have “surfaced“, in archaeologists David Gill and Christopher Chippindale’s term, at this auction.

Thus, with regard to almost all of the 88 objects, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to reassure ethical buyers that they are not taking any risk of handling stolen cultural goods, illicitly exported cultural goods or illicitly imported cultural goods.

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January 6, 2016

The conflict antiquities trade: a historical overview – download

A (correctly-numbered) preprint copy of my historical overview of the conflict antiquities trade is available for download. As I mentioned before, the ICOM International Observatory‘s book is also available to read online.

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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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July 8, 2015

Soil, saw marks and undocumented antiquities on the open market

This is a slow way to make a quick point, so you really can skip over the sections on soil and saw marks, which are just a sample of sources that discuss the implications of soil or saw marks on antiquities. In light of the consensus of opinion, I ask three very simple, open questions. Why do sellers advertise the presence of soil and saw marks? Why don’t sellers explain the innocuous origins of the soil and saw marks on their antiquities? Why don’t buyers refrain from purchasing undocumented antiquities that bear unexplained soil and saw marks?

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March 23, 2013

Asia Week auction, WTF17: is a ‘Tibeto-Chinese’ Bodhisattva one from Chinese-occupied Tibet?

Robert R. Bigler has a ‘Tibeto-Chinese‘ bronze Bodhisattva.

Was it acquired in Tibet, or in China, or in Chinese-occupied Tibet?

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March 22, 2013

Asia Week auction, WTF14: China – no-longer-standing Buddha – tragic accident or commercial decision?

Wei Asian Arts have a ‘[s]tanding Buddha’ from China. Ironically, it can’t stand, because it has no feet; it also lacks hands and, much like any potential buyer, it has lost its head.

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