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The Sumerian plaque that will be returned to Iraq.

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Sumerian plaque returns to Iraq

A 4000-year-old limestone sculpture is to go on temporary display before returning to Iraq. The British Museum and the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service worked together to identify the limestone wall plaque after it was planned to have been offered for sale at TimeLine Auctions in May 2019.

The Metropolitan Police Service (Art and Antiques Unit) were alerted about the sale and experts from the British Museum were able to identify it as originating from an ancient Sumerian temple from around 2400BC.

Following further enquiries, the plaque was disclaimed by its consigner. The museum said the item had been illegally removed from Iraq.

Temple plaques such as this are rare and there are only around 50 examples known in existence. Following a brief public display in London it will be repatriated to Iraq.

Dreweatts role for art expert Lindberg

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And Brandon Lindberg of Dreweatts

Brandon Lindberg has joined Dreweatts as joint head of its picture department and head of British & European pictures. He will work with Jennie Fisher, also joint head of the department, who focuses on Modern & Contemporary Art.

Lindberg previously worked at Christie’s for 27 years where he was most recently senior specialist and director in the Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist Art department.

Fouillade to source wines in Paris

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Jérôme Fouillade of Bonhams

Bonhams’ senior specialist Jérôme Fouillade has transferred from London to Paris to boost consignments to its wine sales.

He will be responsible for securing consignments from French and other European collections for sale at the Bonhams New Bond Street saleroom in London.

Lighting ace links up with Morphy

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Dr Joshua Tauber of Morphy

Antique lamps and lighting specialist Dr Joshua Tauber is joining Pennsylvania auction house Morphy as a specialist consultant in its fine and decorative arts division.

Tauber is a physician who works in the field of addiction medicine. However, he is also a lifelong antiques fan and he and his fiancée own and operate an antiques store in Phoenix.

Wei joins Levy Govy in Hong Kong

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New roles: Rebecca Wei of Levy Govy

Contemporary art dealership Levy Govy has appointed Rebecca Wei, former president of Christie’s Asia, to join the business in Hong Kong.

Italian dealer’s collection for sale

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Louis XV ormolu clock mounted with a Meissen commedia dell’arte family – estimate of £15,000-25,000 in the Giuseppe Rossi collection.

Items from the late Italian collector and dealer Giuseppe Rossi (1914-89) are to be offered in a charity sale at Christie’s.

The online-only sale runs until October 15 and, according to Christie’s, the collection “charts the evolution of European style, taste and design during the 18th century from the Baroque to neoclassicism totalling 148 lots”.

Rossi was born in Turin to a family of cabinet makers and became a dealer and collector. His sister Maria Luisa Rossi (1919-2017) shared his passion and worked alongside him from 1944. The collection comes to market following his sister’s death three years ago at the age of 98.

Estimates range from £500-30,000 and the sale is expected to realise in the region of £500,000. Proceeds from this auction will go to support charitable works in Turin.

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In Numbers

103 The number of roles – equivalent to 10% of its workforce – that the Victoria & Albert Museum is consulting on making redundant now that the UK government’s furlough scheme has ended.