December 31, 2002


- Hermit dies after oil spill ruins his beach museum (Spain)
- Missing Roman goblet baffles museum (British Museum)
- International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection Announcement (San Simeon, CA)
- Is it altruism or the fear of losing their marbles?
- Poignant exhibition showcases Debaal artifacts 40 years after discovery (Beirut)
- Sculpture stolen from city gallery (Edinburgh)
- Seeking ownership record online (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum)
- Afghanistan Seeks Return of Antiquities
- Angkor temples, jewel of Cambodian heritage, under threat from tourist invasion
- Judge Halts Big Island Development
- Kimbell Art Museum Acquires Rare Peruvian Figurine

Hermit dies after oil spill ruins his beach museum

LA Coruna, Spain (dpa) - A German hermit and artist was found dead in Galicia on Sunday, five weeks after his open-air museum was destroyed by the November oil spill from the tanker Prestige. The 63-year-old recluse, only known as Manfred and called 'Man' in the area, was found by local residents in his cabin on the rocks of the village of Camelle on Saturday evening, the local newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported. Meanwhile, two new oil slicks of 200 and 1,000 metres length were reported at the site where the tanker sank off Spain's Atlantic coast, as winds continued to hinder clean up operations in the area. Thousands of people demonstrated against the Spanish government for their alleged mismanagement in tackling the crisis.
Local fishermen said the reclusive German had been "traumatised" when the Prestige oil spill wrecked his museum of stone, wooden and bone sculptures, which had been popular with tourists in the area. "If I don't die I will kill myself", he had reportedly said after the oil leak destroyed his life's work.

Missing Roman goblet baffles museum

Sarah Hall
Tuesday December 31, 2002
The Guardian
It sounds like the title of an Agatha Christie whodunnit. But the mystery of the missing Roman goblet is no fictional riddle. Archivists at the British Museum are scratching their heads after learning that the biggest hoard of Roman treasure ever found in Britain comprised 35 pieces - not 34, as has been believed for the past 60 years - and that the goblet that is missing could be worth more than £1m.

The embarrassing discovery occurred when a 94-year-old who helped clean the Mildenhall treasure after it was found in a remote field in Suffolk in 1943 was shown replicas of the hoard lent to the Mildenhall Museum for an exhibition last year. When Jack Thompson saw the replicas, he revealed that the piece he had worked on was missing. Speaking for Mr Thompson, Colin Dring, of the Mildenhall Museum, explained: "We brought it down for him to see piece by piece, including the two goblets, and he said: 'Where's the one I worked on?' And it wasn't there." Mr Thompson told him the missing silver goblet was 5in high with intricate decoration and four legs - a different design to the other two. "He had always assumed it was in the British Museum," Dr Dring added. "I believe Mr Thompson's account, but unfortunately no one knows where the missing piece might be." Dr Dring added that the goblet did not appear on any lists made of the finds at the time, and was not part of the treasure trove inquest shortly afterwards. Because of this, it is believed that the missing goblet must have disappeared before the hoard was assigned to the British Museum.
A spokeswoman for the British Museum said: "The 34 pieces of the hoard are all we have and are all on display. There is nothing in our storage. "We are aware of rumours about another piece but we have no concrete evidence to support it." The story of the treasure will feature in the BBC2 programme Meet The Ancestors - Our Top Ten Treasures tomorrow at 9pm.

From: "Rob Layne"
To: "Ton Cremers"
Copies to:

Subject: International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection Announcement

Date sent: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 11:12:50 -0700

This is one spectacular opportunity you DON'T WANT TO MISS...!!! The International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection (IFCPP) proudly announces it's Fifth Annual Conference, Certification Program, and Exhibits. In conjunction with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the IFCPP will host a very special event at the Hearst Castle, October 8-12, 2003 in San Simeon, California.
Here's a preliminary look at the event: On Wednesday evening, October 8, attendees and guests will be treated to a welcome reception at the National Geographic Center located adjacent to the Hearst Castle Visitor Center. This will be an outdoor event, featuring western style buffet and live music. On Thursday, October 9, we'll kick off our outstanding educational programs with a presentation by featured speaker, Dr. Peter Tarlow, Ph.D. A leading international expert on terrorism, Dr. Tarlow is back by popular demand, and promises to provide the latest information and advice on the international terrorism picture. Additional special sessions include a detailed look at how historic sites and others deal with the global threat, use of special technology and staff in the protection of unique sites, and how to improve protection with reduced staff and budgets. Fire protection, detection, and suppression will receive special attention.
Special exhibits, highlighting the latest in video technology, integrated access systems, intrusion detection, fire suppression and detection, and much more will be on display in the National Geographic's exhibit area.
After a quick bus trip to our beachfront lodgings, we'll return for a Santa Maria style barbeque on the plaza, followed by shuttles up the mountain to the Castle. Special tours will be conducted by the Hearst's corps of visitor guides, while others relax and enjoy the beautiful outdoor pool, overlooking the Pacific. It's a scene you won't forget. On Friday, following a sit-down breakfast, we're in the classroom, with both levels of certification program (CIPM/CIPS) running concurrently in the Cavalier Conference Center. Weather permitting, lunch is on the bluff - beach front - overlooking the ocean. The day concludes with examinations and certification for Certified Institutional Protection Manger, Supervisor, and Specialist. Those not attending the certification program will enjoy some very special behind-the-scenes tours at local attractions. And that's not all. Still finalizing another special event for the evening - a hint - this is wine country! The weekend has even more to offer, with special tours of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, historic lighthouse, golf, fishing, beach wildlife visits, and too much more to mention. In case you're wondering, this will be THE most memorable cultural property protection event of the year....even better than our previous four, all of which earned YOUR outstanding rating. Great presenters, topical programs, added highlights, and superb lodgings. You'll definitely want to bring the family for this one. Ocean front rooms are "first come-first served", so DON'T BE LATE! Contact or call 1-800-257-6717.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Australia

Is it altruism or the fear of losing their marbles?

December 28 2002

"The race is a very degraded one and ... even the coarse traders and cattle-ranchers make no irregular unions with their women so the race remains pure." - Dr Arthur Gedge, circa 1900.
Deep in the recesses of London's Natural History Museum rest the skulls and leg bones of two Aboriginal men whose lives were considered so morally "degraded" that, in 1900, they were hunted down and killed by a white expedition. But, once safely dead, these racially "pure" Allura tribesmen became prized trophies. Historical records, held by Britain's Royal College of Surgeons, show their skins were boiled off them "on the spot" and the bones given to Dr Arthur Gedge by the expedition's leader, an unnamed patient. Two decades later Gedge shipped them to Britain where, after first being held by the college, these victims from the Northern Territory's Victoria River ended up among the most valuable parts of the world's largest collection of Aboriginal human remains. To the museum, the collection is a incomparable scientific asset, a vital resource for the study of evolution and genetic development; to many Aboriginal people, it is a sacrilege, an enduring insult to the souls of the unburied dead and their living descendants.

The question is, who is right?

European and British museums are believed to hold thousands of Aboriginal bones, hair and soft tissues, removed or stolen from Australia as recently as the 1940s, usually against the wishes of local people or without their knowledge. Recent research has found that at least 60 museums in England alone hold human remains, including the British Museum in London and the Duckworth Collection at Leverhulme Centre at Cambridge University, the second largest after the Natural History Museum. It holds 448 Aboriginal remains, including named or known individuals, such as King Billy, tribal leader from north Queensland. While there have been some celebrated repatriations, including the head of the West Australian leader Yagan and this year's return of a hair sample from Truganini, Tasmania's most famous Aboriginal woman, by the surgeons' college, many institutions are reluctant to return remains and break up collections. The director of the Leverhulme Centre, Dr Robert Foley, argues that collections belong to the "world" rather than any one group. His views are shared by many scientists. "The ultimate justification is that skeletal collections are kept as part of global human heritage, not the preserve of any one culture," he writes in the current edition of the journal Science and Public Affairs.
"Will future generations of Western and Aboriginal cultures be more grateful that the past was preserved rather than lost or intentionally destroyed because of current political fashion? Destroying history is not the answer to the problems of these communities." But, after decades of pressure by Aboriginal groups and, more latterly, the Australian Government, it appears that Foley's arguments may soon be out of fashion. In January, an independent British working group of museum directors, lawyers and academics, chaired by the legal academic Professor Norman Palmer and including the Natural History Museum director, Dr Neil Chalmers, is due to report on more than 18 months of investigation into repatriation of human remains. It is expected to recommend the relaxation of laws preventing export of human remains from Britain's national collection, mainly held by the British and Natural History Museum, and the setting up of a tribunal to deliberate on Aboriginal claims. A working group member, Dr Maurice Davies, the deputy director of Britain's Museums Association, declined to discuss the report but said it be would "sympathetic and understanding" to repatriation claims. But once the working group is done, it will be over to the politicians. More than two years ago, during a visit to coincide with Australia's Centenary of Federation celebrations, the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, agreed to speed up the return of human remains between the two countries. During a 50-minute meeting at Downing Street, at which the two leaders discussed several key topics including Indonesia's then leader, President Wahid, the G8 summit in Japan and Australia's tax reform agenda, Howard told Blair that he "understood the difficulties involved" in the repatriation issue. Members of the human remains working group believe these difficulties now include British fears about the Elgin Marbles, the world's most controversial "stolen" cultural artefacts, removed from Greece by the British in the early 19th century.
Davies and another working group member, who declined to be named, told the Herald that the group had been told by senior public servants that the Blair Government would not change laws governing the national collection if the changes assisted Greek claims for the return of the marble sculptures. "There appears to be nervousness about how legislation on human remains will be perceived in the light of claims for cultural property," Davies said. "Legislation appears to be slipping down the political agenda." A spokeswoman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport denied pressure had been placed on the working group. It is still expected to push for law changes, but whether the Blair Government accepts its recommendations is another matter. Without law reform, the Natural History Museum will be able to continue to deny repatriation claims in the national interest - and years of Australian pressure may came to nought. Lyndon Ormond Parker, a London-based Aboriginal researcher who has worked extensively in Britain and Australia on repatriation, called on the Australian Government to step up pressure on the British. "Aboriginal people are not going to give up on this issue," he said. "It's a matter of having respect for the wishes of Aboriginal communities concerned."
This story was found at: (This article is very similar to the one printed in The AGE - Melbourne - Australia - Science or dignity? It remains to be seen - on December 26 2002)

Poignant exhibition showcases Debaal artifacts 40 years after discovery

National Museum displays forgotten treasures that survived the war in a basement

Gariné Tcholakian Special to The Daily Star

Less than a decade ago, the National Museum of Beirut was a casualty of the mass destruction of national treasures, artifacts and important archaeological sites that was the civil war. From Tyre to Byblos to Kamid al-Loz in the Bekaa, Byzantine, Roman and Phoenician artifacts and countless sarcophagi were pillaged, destroyed, or sold on the international market and, with them, the country’s rich heritage. This is what makes the current exhibit of Debaal artifacts at the National Museum of Beirut so poignant. Organized by the director-general of antiquities and the National Heritage Foundation, the exhibit features a number of precious funerary objects that were found untouched in the basement of the once-ravaged museum. Precious pottery, lamps, jewelry, glassware and beautiful funerary objects, all dating between the first and third century AD, now stand glorious in the golden-lit glass vitrines at the center of the main hall of the museum. The objects come from lead and stone sarcophagi ­ which are not included in the exhibit ­ that were excavated in Debaal during the 1960s. “They are impeccable,” said Suzy Hakimian, head of Museum Services, as she led a group of dignitaries through the exhibit. “We just brushed them off and that was it.” The purported ease of the recovery is remarkable when one recalls some of the archaeological horror stories that emerged from Lebanon during and immediately after the civil war. According to journalist Robert Fisk, several rooms full of excavated material were stolen by militiamen from a Lebanese Department of Antiquities storehouse in Byblos and shipped to European art dealers. The Byblos theft included the Babies of Eshmoun statues, the most valuable treasures excavated in Sidon in the 1960s. The exhibit pieces, originally discovered by a farmer in 1961, were excavated by then-director-general of antiquities, archaeologist Joseph Hajjar, in Debaal, the village 14 kilometers north-east of Tyre. The latter, while now declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, has in the past fallen victim to treasure hunters who used dynamite to destroy Phoenician sarcophagi in the hope of finding the gold and jewels that they are popularly believed to contain. Hajjar’s excavations lasted five weeks and led to the discovery of 36 Roman-era tombs, which consisted of the 29 lead sarcophagi and three stone ones. The findings, which included many funerary objects, were studied and restored over the course of the early 1960s and finally published in detail by Hajjar in the 18th volume of the 1965 edition of Beirut Museum Bulletin. They were then placed in storage rooms in the basement of the museum, waiting to be displayed. With the outbreak of war in 1975, though, the heavy bombardment and pillaging that threatened the museum and its contents led former director- general Amir Maurice Chehab and his wife to cover the larger pieces in concrete and to hide transportable objects in storage. They remained there until this year when, as part of the rehabilitation of the museum building which has been ongoing since 1996, the reconstruction and draining of the museum basement necessitated the removal of all objects from their containers and storage rooms. While the sarcophagi from the Debaal site were discovered last year, their contents were not uncovered until a museum service worker reached the last storage room. There amid the rubble and dust, miraculously preserved thanks to a fallen board, were the jewels, glasses and potteries found at the Debaal site more than 30 years ago. “All these objects were studied and published and supposed to be exhibited before the war,” said Hakimian. “The fact that we are now doing what was supposed to be done 30 years ago is what makes this exhibit an emotional one.”

Sculpture stolen from city gallery

A SCULPTURE worth thousands of pounds has been stolen from a city gallery in a daylight raid.
A £200 reward has been posted for the recovery of the sculpture, which was taken by thieves at an exhibition at the Colours Gallery in Dundas Street on the Saturday before Christmas. The theft of Spring Tide Roost cast a shadow over the Christmas celebrations of the work’s creator, Edinburgh artist Annette Sheppard. Today, Ms Sheppard, 41, from Edinburgh’s West End, made a desperate plea for the return of the £3000-sculpture, which took her around six months to produce. Thieves stole the valuable work from the Christmas exhibition under the noses of gallery staff. Now, Ms Sheppard fears the work could be sold on the internet and vanish forever in a private collection. She said: "I was absolutely gutted. Every artist does a piece of work which they get too close to. About halfway through it, I realised I would probably never do it again. It is a one-off. It took so many months to bring it together.
"I am a maker. It is part of my income."
Ms Sheppard, who teaches creative metal work at Telford College, added: "It is a problem when you are an artist that you become so passionate - you get too close." Ms Sheppard said she also planned to exhibit the work at a prestigious Society of Wildlife Artists show at a gallery in London if it did not sell in Edinburgh. She said: "It was one of those pieces which was very much my own." Spring Tide Roost depicts four quarter-life size birds roosting on the Firth of Forth. The work measures around 35cm at its base while the tallest bird is around 25cm tall. The birds are one-off gas welded mild steel with a cast aluminium base. Ms Sheppard said: "They probably took it by distracting the gallery assistant. It is not something you can slip under your jacket. "It is not weighty, but its size and shape would make that difficult," said Ms Sheppard, who has been an artist for 15 years. "This is the first time that something has been stolen. There is sometimes damage." The sculpture was part of a Christmas exhibition at the gallery which started in late November. Glenn Ross, the director of the gallery, has posted a £200 reward for any information leading to the recovery of the work. He said: "It was gone before we realised. I am devastated. It appears this has been well-planned. This was one of the most expensive pieces in the gallery. We would love to get it back." Edinburgh arts impresario Richard Demarco also urged the thieves to return the sculpture.
He said: "It shows how desperate people get that they are prepared to become a criminal to get art. They must have loved the work so much."
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "We are appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information."

Seeking ownership record online

Monday, December 30, 2002 -- The 17 paintings newly displayed on the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art's Web site have one thing in common. While all are indisputably historic, and many are even significant, some important history - a consistent record of their ownership - has been missing. The paintings are grouped on the site in an effort to determine if they were looted by the Nazis in Europe last century before finding their way to Hartford, Conn.

The images can be seen at

Using a gift from the Chase family, the museum has joined many other American institutions in seeking to identify pieces that might have been stolen from their rightful owners between 1932 and 1946 and later sold. The Wadsworth paintings were all acquired between 1941 and 1981. Of the 17, the museum has already learned that one, an oil and tempera work on canvas by the Italians Dosso Dossi and Battista Dossi, created sometime between 1490 and 1542, was seized by the Nazis in Vienna. But it was later returned to members of the family that owned it and sold legitimately at auction in New York City. By showcasing the 17 works on a section of its Web site, the museum seeks to gather the information it needs to close gaps in the "provenance" of the paintings and thus be able to establish an unbroken chain of ownership. The museum in 1998 determined that a work by Jacopo Zucchi, a 16th-century artist, that the museum bought from an art dealer in Paris in 1965 had been stolen earlier from the Italian Embassy in Berlin, according to a museum press release. The museum returned the work, called "The Bath of Bathsheba," to the Italian government. In thanks, the government loaned paintings by Caravaggio to the Wadsworth from the National Gallery of Art in Rome.

Afghanistan Seeks Return of Antiquities

Monday December 30, 2002 10:40 PM

PESHAWAR, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan appealed Monday for the immediate return of antiquities and artwork spirited out of the country during two decades of war, saying it was now ready to protect them. While artifacts were once endangered in their home country and often looted or destroyed, Information and Culture Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen said Afghanistan is now ready to get its ancient treasures back. ``When the present Afghan government came to power, we had nothing, everything was destroyed,'' said Raheen, at the inauguration of an Afghan cultural center in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, near the Afghan border.
``Now we are trying to preserve our history and culture for the next generation,'' said Raheen. Raheen said the Afghan government is in talks with UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, on how to preserve, display and protect its antiquities. Stolen artifacts range from bronze, stone and ceramic pieces ranging from the Hellenistic period - when Alexander the Great swept through southern Asia in the 4th century B.C. - to rare Buddha carvings in the Gandhara style, a school of carving popular in northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan about 2,000 years ago. ``It was only during the last few years that they were stolen, damaged and plundered,'' he said. After guerrilla fighters forced Soviet troops out of Afghanistan in the early 1990s, rival groups began fighting among themselves, looting antiquities and artwork and selling them. By the time they were deposed by the hardline Taliban in 1996 nearly 80 percent of all antiquities had been stolen and sold. The situation further worsened under the Taliban, who banned music, some films and art, and destroyed antiquities they said were offensive to Islam. Some Muslims believe that artwork should not include depictions of the human figure. The Taliban enraged the world when they destroyed two ancient standing Buddhas, carved into a mountainside in the 3rd and 5th centuries. Given the unusual circumstance, in April 2001 UNESCO decided to temporarily relax in Afghanistan's case a long-standing position against the purchase of artifacts that have been exported illegally. UNESCO took the unprecedented decision of encouraging the purchase of Afghan treasures by non-governmental organizations, in a bid to protect what was left of the war-ravaged country's historical riches.
Now, Raheen said, Afghanistan is ready to take the artifacts back.
``We appeal to all those who posses antiques and the pieces looted from Kabul to return them to our Afghan people,'' Raheen said, ``because they're not the property of any individual. These things belong to the Afghan nation.''
Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002

Angkor temples, jewel of Cambodian heritage, under threat from tourist invasion

Sat Dec 28, 7:03 PM ET
By CHRIS DECHERD, Associated Press Writer

SIEM REAP, Cambodia - Until recently, Cambodia was happy to let the temples of Angkor exist as a beacon of Khmer pride, rising from a jungle canopy like jewels dotting a green silk scarf. Now the ancient Buddhist and Hindu monuments have become the pillars of Cambodia's nascent tourism industry, and officials are counting on them to lift the country out of a downward economic spiral. But Cambodia's culture leaders warn that the very survival of the 9th-14th century temples may be in jeopardy as planeloads of invasive tourists trample through the hallowed corridors, climb the stone steps to the shrines and brush grubby fingers on the magnificent bas reliefs of gods, goddesses and demons. The concerns are typical of the debate going on at ancient monuments around the world — from the Pyramids of Egypt to Taj Mahal in India — on how to balance the hunger for tourism dollars with the need to protect the stunning legacies for future generations. The Cambodian government has vowed it will do everything to protect the 40 or so sacred structures, located on the outskirts of the northern town of Siem Reap.
Critics and conservationists are not convinced.
"The temples are under severe pressure," says Tamara Teneishvili who works for UNESCO (news - web sites) to conserve the temple complex, which includes the world's largest religious monument built of stone, the Angkor Wat, Cambodia's national symbol. "The serenity of one's visit to Siem Reap and the temples is what's magical and, unfortunately, that's in jeopardy," she said. "...Instead, people are trying to turn it more and more like Las Vegas." Very true, says Vann Molyvann, Cambodia's most prominent architect who led the government authority in charge of the Angkor's development for seven years until 2000. "It could be catastrophic. Siem Reap-Angkor cannot cope with the impact of mass tourism," said Vann Molyvann, who was fired after refusing to back down in a dispute with well-connected developers on building codes for Siem Reap. "It will be a disaster for us if as many people come as they say will," he said. Some 250,000 foreign tourists visited the temples in 2001, up from 60,000 in 1999, according to government figures. The government's goal is to host 1 million annually by 2010. Tens of thousands of Cambodians also visit each year. The Apsara Authority, in charge of Angkor's development, acknowledges that the tourist influx is a concern but maintains it has time to improve the small town's outdated infrastructure. However, donor and private funding for desperately needed upgrades of the water, sewage and electrical systems still must be finalized. The government has turned down requests from businessmen to start a sound and light show at Angkor Wat and a plan to build an escalator to the top of a hill providing stunning views. But it recently granted permission for a company to start taking tourists up in an anchored hot air balloon.
"Our first priority is preservation," said Bun Narith, director of Apsara Authority. But "we cannot control everything," he added. Built by a series of god-kings who ruled an empire that covered much of mainland Southeast Asia for 500 years, the temples were forgotten for centuries and preserved by dense jungle until a French explorer stumbled upon them 140 years ago. Angkor Wat is the best-known of the structures but monuments such as Bayon, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, Banteay Srey, Ta Prohm, and Roulos are other favorites. Even after their discovery, tourists stayed away from Cambodia as it went through a series of civil wars. A 1997 coup stalled the expected tourist boom, but elections the following year seemingly entrenched peace and guests poured into the poverty-stricken land like never before. Until five years ago, a visitor to Angkor could be virtually alone while watching the sunset from Phnom Bakeng, a 70-meter (230- feet) hill between Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Today, the peak is elbow to elbow with people at dusk and its base is a quagmire of honking tour buses, cars and motorbikes jostling for parking space that doesn't exist. "It's a view pollution," Teneishvili, the UNESCO official, said. Vann Molyvann warns that the temples will crumble unless cars are banned from the temple park -- a large swath of jungle and Savannah -- and aircraft stop flying directly over the ancient structures and landing a mere 5 kilometers (3 miles) away. The drastic measures are required to reduce stress on the ancient structures, most of which were built without mortar, he said. "Vibrations are slowly destroying the temples," he said. "The current flight path is directly over the Bayon and a crash could destroy it." Government officials deny the temples will be even damaged, much less destroyed by development. Apsara Authority officials say a ban on vehicles is being studied and a new international airport for Siem Reap could open in 2012. There are varying figures for income generated by tourism. But estimates range from US$200 million to US$450 million in 2001, making tourism a major engine driving the economy that largely depends on foreign dole. "Angkor can help the whole country by bringing people with money to Cambodia," said Chap Nhalyvudh, the governor of Siem Reap province, noting how tourism kick-started neighboring Thailand's economy 40 years ago.

Judge Halts Big Island Development

Mon Dec 30,12:39 PM ET

A Circuit Court Judge has stopped all construction work on the Hokulia luxury homes project on the Big Island because the developer disturbed ancient burial sites, authorities said. The judge said that 1250 Oceanside Partners failed to stop excavation after finding the ancient remains. The developer's initial survey identified more than 400 historic sites and it found nearly 200 more. The judge also blamed state agencies, calling their actions an "unjustified compromise of professional archaelogical standards."
The judge's order will take effect on Jan. 17.

Kimbell Art Museum Acquires Rare Peruvian Figurine

FORT WORTH, ( — The Kimbell Art Museum has announced the acquisition of a rare Peruvian inlaid figurine from the Huari empire (600–1000 A.D.), the first piece of South American art to enter the Museum’s collection. This is the only known example of a Huari freestanding figurine entirely covered in the inlaid shell technique. There are only a handful of known works that utilize this technique, among which the Kimbell’s newly acquired figurine is one of the finest. The figure is now on display as part of a new cross-cultural sculpture installation in the south galleries. The installation includes works from civilizations around the world—Western, Asian, Precolumbian, and African—that are integrated in a broadly chronological sequence spanning more than 4,000 years.


moderator's comment:

The Kimbell Art Museum has been requested to inform the Museum Security Network about the provenance of this valuable acquisition...