Looted Antiquities

UK dealer’s looted treasures discovered

08 February 2016

Roman and Etruscan antiquities believed to have been obtained from illicit excavations were found by police in 45 crates belonging to Robin Symes, a high-profile British art dealer who served seven months in Pentonville prison in 2005.

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Nazi looted Houdon bust returns to Poland

20 November 2015

A late 18th century bust of the Goddess Diana which was looted from the Royal Lazienki Palace in Warsaw by the Nazis has been returned to Poland after emerging at auction in Vienna.

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Top cellar: restituted Welby salt brings £850,000

23 July 2015

It was included in one of the Ashmolean Museum’s greatest bequests but this magnificent salt cellar was subsequently discovered to be Nazi loot. Recently restituted, it soared to £850,000 at auction.

Six major pieces of Impressionist and Modern art sold at auction following restitution settlements

29 June 2015

Sotheby’s and Christie’s have well-established specialist departments for brokering deals on sale of Nazi-looted works returned to rightful heirs. Over the last decade some major pieces of Impressionist and Modern art have come to auction as a result of restitution settlements.

NY crime conference set for third outing

01 June 2015

The third annual ‘Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Symposium’ will be held in New York on June 4-6.

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Christie’s withdraw lots after antiquities alert

14 April 2015

Four lots were withdrawn at the eleventh hour by Christie’s last week amid fresh allegations in the media over illicit antiquities at auction.

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Arrest made as Egyptian artefacts are pulled from Christie’s London sale

28 May 2013

A UK-based businessman has been arrested on suspicion of looting Egyptian artefacts after he consigned several items into a Christie’s antiquities sale in London.

Greek strikes delay Hay appeal

15 October 2012

Malcolm Hay, the dealer controversially convicted by an Athens court of trading in illegally excavated antiquities, has learnt that the hearing of the appeal he lodged in March 2011 has been delayed until February 1, 2013 owing to disruption caused by strikes in Greece.

Lost in the Blitz, but now safely home

18 July 2011

A SCULPTURE has been returned to its former home more than 70 years after it was looted during the Blitz from a bombed London church.

Greek courts reduce and suspend Hay sentence

07 March 2011

THE Greek courts have commuted the sentence of antiquities dealer Malcolm Hay from four years to three, suspended for three years.

Hay appeal delayed again

24 January 2011

ANTIQUITIES dealer Malcolm Hay must wait until February 18 for the appeal against his conviction for trafficking in illegally excavated artefacts to be heard in the Greek courts.


Benin ivory mask withdrawn from Sotheby's sale

04 January 2011

Just days after Sotheby’s announced the sale of a 16th century ivory mask and five other works from the Kingdom of Benin, the auctioneers said they have been withdrawn.

New law to ease return of Holocaust art

23 November 2009

UK museums whose own rules prevent them from returning Nazi-looted art to its rightful owners can now do so thanks to a new Act of Parliament.

Austria extends claim period for looted art

06 April 2009

SPECULATION is rising that many more restituted works of art may end up being offered for sale following a ruling made by Vienna’s city council.

Police drive to protect looted Afghan artefacts

27 October 2008

The Metropolitan Police’s new team of ArtBeat Special Constables were deployed for the first time on October 20 as part of Operation Syenite. The aim of the operation is to raise awareness among London’s art world about antiquities looted from the Afghanistan National Museum in Kabul during the 1990s.

US website to track Nazi looted art

15 September 2003

THE United States has taken a lead in art restitution by setting up a website to track Nazi-looted art. The Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal which has just gone online, will provide a database of museums collections – 70 have signed up so far – for checks on art that disappeared in Europe between 1933 and 1945.

BAMF help trade avoid blight under anti-looting Act

07 July 2003

LAST-minute efforts to persuade the Government to amend legislation that could prove damaging to the honest trade in antiques looked set to pay off as the Antiques Trade Gazette went to press.

Anti-looting Bill will bring in due diligence by the back door

20 May 2003

DUE diligence will effectively become a legal obligation when the Bill aimed at clamping down on the illicit trade in cultural objects becomes law.

Italian amnesty may leave lost antiquities with those who hold them illegally

29 April 2003

ART collectors in Italy in possession of illegally acquired antiquities may now be able to come clean to the authorities and keep the works concerned.

Cambridge experts set out plan for saving Iraqi artefacts

29 April 2003

The Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at Cambridge University have set out a list of short- and long-term objectives to help restore works to the museums of Iraq.