Posts tagged ‘Greece’

November 30, 2013

Greece: Olympia Museum robbery suspects convicted and sentenced

Seven people have been convicted for the robbery of the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games (Global Post via @artcrimeHQ and eKathimerini via Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues). Apart from the fact that the English-language and French-language media have misreported the prison sentences of the convicted (1), the amateurish nature of the hold-up has been forgotten.

October 1, 2013

Did Golden Dawn leaders collect, trade or traffic illicit antiquities?

Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s Führer-principled organisation did not only function to commit mass murder and assassinations. It also served to conduct (and funded itself through) ‘extortion of migrant street salesmen and shop owners… smuggling… money laundering’ and a host of far grimmer crimes.

One of its MPs has been caught in possession of suspected illicit antiquities. It may have been a private collection but, in light of the mafia/militia’s apparent engagement in other trafficking and illicit trading, it may be evidence that the illicit antiquities trade was one of the means of funding its paramilitary activity.

October 1, 2013

Greece: anti-mafia law is used to suppress civil resistance to destruction of the historic and natural environment

A while ago, I reviewed a ‘corrupt deal’ over the Skouries gold mine in Greece, which was ‘financially as well as socially, economically, environmentally and culturally bad for both the community and the country’, and the consequent community resistance and police repression. Now, exploiting the public distraction of the anti-mafia crackdown on neo-Nazis, the state is using the same anti-mafia legislation to crack down on (historic and natural) environmentalists…

September 21, 2013

Greece: the massive organised illicit antiquities gang has been imprisoned

Regarding last year’s arrest of 45 suspected members of an illicit antiquities dealing gang, the 67-year-old mastermind has been convicted of ‘leading a large and active criminal racket’ devoted to the illicit excavation and sale of antiquities; he has been fined €50,000 and imprisoned for 22 years. 43 other members have been imprisoned for between two and nine years. A further nine have been acquitted.

(The original reports counted 25, 35, 36, 44, then 45 arrests; but 53 were brought to trial, so perhaps they comprised 44 immediate arrests and nine follow-up prosecutions of peripheral associates.)

May 11, 2013

Greece: Nazi antiquities looting and austerity politics

I tend not to discuss historical cases of illicit excavation or illicit possession of antiquities because, almost by definition, they are not urgent. Also, almost inevitably, they have been severely politicised (and pushed into public consciousness through their politicisation); it can be difficult to discuss them without spreading at least part of the underlying political message. One such example is the Nazis’ theft and looting of artworks and artefacts from Greece.

April 19, 2013

Greece: arrest of metal-detecting antiquities looter in Sithonia, Halkidiki

Greek police arrested a 25-year-old man as an antiquities looter (αρχαιοκάπηλος); they arrested him on suspicion of looting antiquities (and thereby violating the Law on Antiquities and Cultural Heritage). They found 53 small artefacts of various designs and shapes, 45 ancient coins (of various sizes and images, 1 of silver, 44 of other metals) and a metal detector in his home in Sithonia, Halkidiki. There are no more details yet.

April 10, 2013

Greece: exploitation, repression and resistance through destruction in the Skouries mine conflict

The story of the literal and metaphorical gold mine in Skouries is quite symbolic of the situation in Greece. The project is the product of a corrupt deal that is financially as well as socially, economically, environmentally and culturally bad for both the community and the country.

Beyond its immediate human impact, the Skouries project concerns me for four reasons:

  1. it is in an ancient place so, ironically, the mine will destroy archaeological evidence of ‘a long history of mining that dates back to Alexander the Great’;
  2. it involves massive transformations of the landscape, not simply to fulfil its economic function, but actually to establish a huge complex of security and control;
  3. an intrinsic part of this long-running, low-level conflict is the political destruction of property and the destruction of community property; and
  4. connections have been made between the present struggle and ancient history.

February 17, 2013

@samarkeolog Twitter archive: illicit antiquities trade in Greece

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (primarily on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on the illicit antiquities trade in Greece are here.

February 16, 2013

@samarkeolog Twitter archive: destruction of cultural and community property in Greece

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (primarily on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on the destruction of cultural and community property in Greece are here.

February 15, 2013

@samarkeolog Twitter archive: cultural and community property in conflict

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on cultural and community property in conflict are here.

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