Posts tagged ‘Russia’

August 17, 2015

APAA appeal on archaeological work in Ukraine’s Russia-occupied/annexed Crimea

[I am still on jury duty. I wrote this on the weekend.]

Last year, I considered (and summarised) the possibilities for excavation in Crimea under annexation. On the 6th of August 2015, the All-Ukrainian Public Association of Archaeologists (APAA) issued an appeal to archaeologists of the Russian Federation. It has been published in Ukrainian, Russian and English and it is being discussed on Facebook. (I have corrected typos and clarified the translation of a few words or phrases.)

August 17, 2015

Chersonesus: nationalist state annexation and internationalist professional resistance

[I am still on jury service. I wrote this on the weekend.]

Having annexed Crimea territorially on the 18th of March 2014 (a month after which, the Ukraine-licensed archaeologists at Chersonesus were attacked by gunmen), the Russian state redoubled its efforts to annex Crimea culturally. On the 4th of December 2014, President Vladmimir Putin repeated an age-old Russian nationalist historical narrative and insisted that it was ‘in Crimea, in ancient Chersonesus, or Korsun as the Russian chroniclers called it, that Prince Vladimir took baptism, before he baptized all of Rus’‘.

July 14, 2015

Financial investment in the antiquities market: a premium price for looted antiquities?

Just in case readers did not see last month’s updates to the story of the six-century-old “Syrian” tile trafficked from a shrine in Syria, which was in fact a twelve-decade-old Persian tile transported from a seller in France, I thought I would highlight them in the light of a few other stories about the market-end of the antiquities trade, because they hint at something that may be quite significant.

June 7, 2015

Was the plaque in Finland sold on the French market with an accurate description and estimate, then resold into the Russian market with an inaccurate description and estimate?

[Original title: Were the antiquities going to Russia from Syria or Iran or France?]

On the 5th of June, it was reported that ‘Isis-looted treasures’ had been ‘seized en route to Russia’, then that an ‘”Isis looted” Syrian Ottoman ceramic bound for Russia’ had been ‘seized in Finland‘. Unfortunately, the speech marks in the second headline were supposed to undermine the first, but sounded like confirmation. More troublingly, every piece of information about the ceramic in both reports appears to have been wrong.

February 7, 2015

Terrorist antiquities trading and state arms smuggling between Syria and Turkey

The antiquities trade rules in the Russia-drafted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against terrorist financing have been reviewed by China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States – and revised (or most significantly revised) by the United States.

February 5, 2015

Resolution against terrorist antiquities trading is welcome, but why not resolution against conflict antiquities trading?

Russia is drafting a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to combat terrorist financing, which will specifically target illicit trading in antiquities by the Islamic State.

June 10, 2014

Ukraine: illicit antiquities trade recap

Behind the fog of war and the smoke of the propaganda machine, there is evidence that Ukraine’s kleptocratic former regime engaged in illicit antiquities collecting, whether through the embezzlement of cultural goods from museums or the purchase of illegally excavated archaeological material. The grey nature of the antiquities market facilitates money laundering, so its investigation will contribute to financial asset recovery and prosecution of powerful, transnational criminal networks, as well as cultural property restitution and the minimisation of harm to the cultural heritage/tourist economy.

April 18, 2014

Unknown gunmen attacked Chersonesos dig team, rejected Ukrainian excavation licence

Unrelenting bad news: ‘in Sevastopol, near Fiolenta [Bay], unknown persons shot at archaeologists, [who were] leading official excavations [В Севастополе в районе Фиолента неизвестные обстреляли археологов, ведущих официальные раскопки]’. No-one was injured in the incident, which lasted half an hour(?), but the police investigation will not be able to reach a reassuring conclusion.

April 17, 2014

Russian separatists have demanded that Ukrainian Jews register themselves and their property

The Russian separatist administration of Donetsk, or elements within that administration, have ordered Jewish Ukrainians to register themselves, their families and all of their property and other assets.

April 16, 2014

Ukrainian law on protection of cultural heritage in occupied territory

Obviously, I’m working via machine translation (and back-and-forth machine translation of documents), and the Ukrainian parliament’s website has been dysfunctional, but I believe that I’ve understood the details of Ukraine’s law on the protection of cultural heritage in its occupied territory.

%d bloggers like this: