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Looted Antiquities


Gilgamesh Dream tablet

News In Brief – including the return of a Gilgamesh Dream tablet to Iraq

27 September 2021

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including the the return of a 3600-year-old tablet showing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh being handed back to Iraq by the US.

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British antiques restorer arrested and investigated in US court case

27 July 2021

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating a multi-million-pound Asian antiquities ‘trafficking ring’ and has arrested a British antiques restorer as part of the case.

Flags

Revoke of EU cultural goods regulation could leave Northern Ireland exposed

26 May 2021

The UK government is in the process of revoking the European Union regulation on the Import of Cultural Goods.

Statue

Ancient Libyan statue returned home with the help of The British Museum and HMRC

11 May 2021

A funerary statue from Cyrene (near present-day Shahhat in Libya) dating to the 2nd century BC is being returned to Libya.

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Benin plaque withdrawn from auction after curator raises provenance questions

03 May 2021

The increasingly contentious issue of selling Benin works of art at auction raised its head again last week after an ancestral plaque catalogued as 16th or 17th century was withdrawn from an East Sussex sale.

Final chance for EU cultural goods consultation

19 April 2021

The art and antiques sector has until April 21 to submit feedback on new rules on the import of cultural goods proposed by the European Union.

European Commission

Call for feedback on EU’s cultural goods importation rules

14 April 2021

The art and antiques sector has until April 21 to submit feedback on new rules proposed by the European Union on the import of cultural goods.

Coins

Lorry driver sentenced after Bulgarian coins and antiquities seized at Dover

24 March 2021

A Bulgarian man has been jailed for two years after antiquities estimated to be worth more than £76,000 were found in his lorry by Border Force in Dover, Kent.

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ATG Letter: Unesco – evasion and lack of self-awareness

14 December 2020

MADAM – Your comprehensive coverage of the recent Unesco debacle in last week’s issue (ATG No 2471) successfully raises ongoing concerns about the organisation’s behaviour and attitudes.

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Unesco ad campaign on looted art has ‘intention to mislead’

07 December 2020

A Unesco campaign aimed at increasing public awareness of looted art is threatening to backfire after it emerged the ‘stories’ told in its adverts were fabricated.

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Rare Sumerian plaque to return to Iraq with help of British Museum

30 September 2020

A 4000-year-old limestone sculpture is to go on temporary display before returning to Iraq.

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Indian bronzes returned by Met's Art and Antiques Unit

22 September 2020

The Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit have helped recover three 15th century Indian bronze sculptures after one was identified in the possession of a UK dealer.

News In Brief - including the arrest of five antiquities specialists in Paris

29 June 2020

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including the arrest of antiquities dealers and experts in Paris relating to looted Middle Eastern artefacts.

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Allow access to antiquities files, says Christie’s

22 June 2020

Following the removal of four lots from a New York sale, Christie’s has expressed frustration at being denied access to key information on possible looted antiquities.

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Market for illicit antiquities valued ‘in millions not billions’

15 June 2020

The antiquities trade has welcomed a new independent report that estimates the volume of looted objects on the market is much smaller than previous reports have suggested.

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Sotheby’s loses New York court case against Greece over ancient horse figurine

10 June 2020

The Greek ministry of culture has won a court ruling over auction house Sotheby’s involving the ownership of an 8th century BC horse figurine.

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Fake Mesopotamian antiquities seized at Heathrow airport with help of Border Force officers and the British Museum

05 May 2020

A group of Mesopotamian antiquities destined for collectors in the UK was discovered to be fake and seized in an operation by Border Force and the British Museum.

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British Museum unveils antiquities database but dealers raise concerns

20 April 2020

A project led by the British Museum (BM) to combat the trade in looted antiquities from Egypt and Sudan has launched an online database where objects with ‘provenance issues’ can be brought to the attention of museum specialists and academics.

Parthenon marbles in the British Museum

Institute of Art and Law to update guidance on restitution cases

19 March 2020

Arts Council England has appointed the Institute of Art and Law to help form new guidance for institutions around the thorny issues of restitution and repatriation of cultural objects.

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Cultural heritage trafficking is in decline, says dealer association report

10 February 2020

The reported trafficking of cultural heritage objects is small and in decline, according to analysis by the IADAA (International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art).