Posts tagged ‘Cyprus’

05/03/2018

“mere” corruption, political insecurity and conflict antiquities trafficking in Cyprus and Turkey

When considering trafficking of and markets for (fake) conflict antiquities, it is helpful to remember that cultural property crime can be connected with common problems, such as corruption and oppression, in uncommon ways. Furthermore, disparate cases can sometimes help to interpret one another.

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01/03/2018

every story about Turkey has everything: fake conflict antiquities trafficking, drug trafficking and conflict financing

While I was collecting evidence of the markets for (fake) conflict antiquities that are trafficked from and through Turkey, journalist Cristina Maza reviewed the allegations by Turkey that former CIA agent Graham Fuller was involved in the 2016 coup attempt and observed that ‘this story has everything’. I noted that every story about Turkey has everything. Here, I try to trace historical connections between trafficking of fake conflict antiquities, trafficking of other illicit commodities and financing of politically-motivated armed groups.

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23/01/2016

Lebanese authorities suspend Ashkal Alwan founder-director Christine Tohme’s passport

The good, the bad and the inevitable

In November 2015, I was lucky enough to be invited to Home Works, an arts forum at the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts (Ashkal Alwan) in Beirut, Lebanon. Ali Cherri and I discussed matters from the invention of ruins to the end of the national museum.

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30/04/2015

‘Anyone caught carrying a map or book using those names’ may be fined or imprisoned

Anthropologist Rebecca Bryant has highlighted that the Greek Cypriot-administered Republic of Cyprus (RoC) ‘unanimously passed a law that criminalises the use of Turkish names given after 1974.’ To put that in practical perspective, I would have been fined or imprisoned during my PhD for doing my PhD. Some of my publications are now illegal. Get them while they’re hot!

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08/04/2015

Will Cyprus sell repatriated antiquities at auction? No.

Will it buy looted antiquities at auction in order to repatriate them? Yes.

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01/02/2015

Operation Aureus-Hieratica: Egyptian-Spanish antiquities trafficking may have funded Islamic State

The details of Operation Aureus (within Spain, Operation Hieratica) – a massive and remarkable Europol-coordinated, Interpol-assisted, UNESCO-supported investigation – are beginning to emerge. (Paul Barford has been keeping track of the news.) Now, a new report claims that the Egyptian-Spanish antiquities supply line was run to fund the Islamic State [but no evidence has yet been presented].

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27/12/2014

Wouldn’t it be better for collectors and dealers to restrict themselves to the 145-year-old market in licensed antiquities from Cyprus?

It looks like 2017, when Cyprus and the United States will discuss the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on antiquities import restrictions, is going to be a long year for me. American antiquities collector and lobbyist Peter Tompa has temporarily excluded me from a perceived “archaeological lobby” in order to use the work that offended the anonymous activist against the “archaeological lobby”.

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27/12/2014

Activist agenda?

I spent Christmas Eve refuting a comment by someone who had neither the courage nor the evidence to put their name to their own claims. (They accused me of having an unidentified ‘personal agenda’ and spreading false information, though they actually affirmed my claims in their comment.) Antiquities collector Kyri observed, ‘everyone who’s anyone knows the archa[e]ologist[s] turn[e]d a blind eye’. The commenter obviously knew too, which raises the question: What agenda did they have? Why did they try to discredit me for sharing publicly-available professional/official information, which had come from the state, society and community that the commenter appeared to believe they were defending?

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24/12/2014

Agenda? What? Retraction? How?

Nearly four years ago, I blogged a basic analysis of antiquities in the Severis Collection. It didn’t draw much attention or any comment. Last week, the launch of an edited book on Heritage Crime, in which I had a chapter on Cyprus, led to renewed interest in my work on the island. (I’ve also published a peer-reviewed journal article on analysing the illicit antiquities trade.) Someone found or traced that old blog post. They alleged that I was ignorant and had an agenda. And they requested that I apologise for and retract the post.

Perhaps the anonymous commenter read it in an F pattern. Regardless, their comment was misleading and I will not retract the post. I will, however, explain the commenter’s errors. I will also demonstrate that, inexplicably, the content of the comment actually supports the post. And, while it may be a product of bureaucracy rather than Machiavellianism, I will show that the Greek Cypriot administration has erased certain inconvenient statements by Greek Cypriot archaeologists from its website.

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16/12/2014

Heritage crime and threats to cultural heritage in the Cyprus Conflict

Thanks to the editors of Heritage Crime, Louise Grove and Suzie Thomas, I’ve also had the opportunity to write something new on Threats to Cultural Heritage in the Cyprus Conflict.

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