Posts tagged ‘Cyprus’

January 23, 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.

April 30, 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!

April 8, 2015

Will Cyprus sell repatriated antiquities at auction? No.

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

February 1, 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].

December 27, 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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December 27, 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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December 24, 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.

December 16, 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.

September 8, 2014

Does the ‘e’ in eBay stand for ‘easy’? Antiquities from India, Egypt or Ukraine, via the US, Turkey or Cyprus…

Archaeologist-lawyer Tess Davis saw an advert for an Ancient Sarcophagus with Hieroglyphics from Egypt on Facebook. As she said, ‘shame!’ But it’s difficult to know where to begin. Obviously, neither Facebook nor eBay vets adverts for suspect products (which are, presumably, automatically selected by computer algorithms), and eBay doesn’t vet the material that is sold directly through it either.

Their immediate defence is that the sellers are responsible for the things that they sell (or mis-sell to evade vetting); there is too much material for them to vet; and they are proactive when they are notified of a problem. As archaeologist Paul Barford lamented of the online trade in metal-detected antiquities from Britain, ‘this has been going on day-after-day, week after week, almost since the beginning’ of eBay in 1995.

August 14, 2014

Using open-source data to identify participation in the illicit antiquities trade

My thesis documents some of the problems with research on (or simply amid) the Cyprus Conflict – including boycotting, blacklisting and sheer trouble-making. And my book chapter on the paramilitary takeover of antiquities trafficking shows how the civil war, the destruction of cultural and community property, and the trade in illicit antiquities developed together. My latest journal article, on the Cypriot civil war, uses the open-source data from catalogues of antiquities in collections and museums to work out the structure of the trade.

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