Posts tagged ‘eBay’


Sellers and buyers of undocumented antiquities already dismiss or demean exploitation, crime and violence at source. Will they also ignore threats in “their own” countries?

Roberta Mazza, who blogs on Faces and Voices and tweets @papyrologyatman, has published an article on Hyperallergic about the illegal papyrus trade and what scholars can do to stop it.

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Islamic State-looted antiquities on eBay? ‘The stories are absolutely false and defamatory.’ Multiple libel actions will follow.

With regard to the reports of Islamic State-looted antiquities on eBay, which Paul Barford and I have reviewed, there has been a predictable (and predicted) development.

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Conflict antiquities from Apamea do not finance the Islamic State – they finance the Assad regime

Despite the headline, the Times has not presented any evidence of Islamic State-looted antiquities on eBay.

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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.

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Who ran the eBay auction of the Gaza Apollo?

I want to make clear, immediately, just how uncomfortable I am with this post. Both the act and the process are difficult and troubling, and if anyone would recommend removing or otherwise amending the identifying information, I will take it into very serious consideration.

Nonetheless, I have multiply-cross-checked, publicly-available sources that confirm the identity of the (supposed) eBay seller of the Gaza Apollo; and I have contacted the subject repeatedly via various media, but he has not responded.

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an appeal for information from the alleged seller of the Gaza Apollo on eBay

Dear thn87,

I know a lot about you (far beyond your full name and contact details), including that you’re checking this blog’s reports on the case of the Apollo in Gaza. Considering your involvement, through your alleged auction of the Gaza Apollo on eBay, you cannot seriously expect me not to discuss this information and its implications.

However, I would sincerely appreciate a private discussion regarding the Gaza Apollo case; I am committed to providing an unfiltered presentation of your story and an impartial analysis of your argument. You can contact me via e-mail.

Yours impatiently,



the Apollo of Gaza: less innocent origins, equally problematic destinations

Focusing on the information about the Apollo of Gaza itself (rather than the politics of its possession and planned sale), there are now three questions. Is the statue genuine? Is – or, now it’s been cancelled, was – the eBay auction advert genuine? And what the fuck is going on? [For updates on what the fuck is going on, look at the problems with the fishermen’s stories and the Palestinian authorities’ stories, or check the Apollo post stream.]

It appears that someone may have looted the Apollo of Gaza from an archaeological site (on land); that Hamas are still poised to raise funds by selling the statue (which they seized from its “finder”); and that there was a separate, opportunistic, advance deposit scam that exploited the intrigue to offer the statue.

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