Russia set to allow art exhibit to travel to U.K.

31/12/2007 13:08 MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will allow an art exhibition to travel to Britain after it enacted a new law on Monday protecting loaned artworks from seizure over legal claims, a senior Russian culture official said. Russian authorities had threatened to scrap plans to loan paintings by Van Gogh and Matisse for the show “From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925,” over fears the artworks could be seized by courts acting for descendants of those who owned them before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. (more…)

December 31st, 2007

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December 31st, 2007

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Experts fear that the collection, which featured two gold coins of priceless historical value, could have been melted down. One of the coins can be dated back to 1826 and was worth up to £35,000. The gang of about six men and two women targeted two men from Dix Noonan Webb, the auctioneer, in South Kensington, London, when the coins had been displayed at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre. It is believed that the gang sabotaged the men’s car and followed them from the centre. (more…)

December 31st, 2007

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U.K. Passes Art Immunity Order to Clear Way for Russian Exhibit.  Culture Secretary James Purnell issued a legal order, to take effect from 12:01 a.m. London time tonight, to meet Russian concern that U.K. law did not protect artworks loaned from abroad against third-party seizure, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement. (more…)

December 30th, 2007

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David Gill’s LOOTING MATTERS blog.

Images and links

Marion True has presented her side of the recent saga of returning antiquities in an extended interview with Hugh Eakin (“Treasure Hunt: The Downfall of the Getty Curator Marion True”, New Yorker, December 17, 2007). True became curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1986. (more…)

December 29th, 2007

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

Experts primarily confirm their genuineness

Officials of the National Museum look at the recovered pieces of broken Vishnu statues at Amin Bazar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday. Two Vishnu statues were stolen from the Zia International Airport on December 22. The officials, right, put broken pieces together in a bid to reassemble them. Photo: star/focus bangla

Investigators yesterday retrieved some broken pieces of the two stolen Vishnu statuettes from a dump on the city outskirts and the National Museum authorities confirmed that those belong to the 1,500-year-old relics.

So far, the law enforcers have managed to gather 27 pieces of the Gupta era idols–‘Vishnu’ and ‘Bust of Vishnu’–at Baliarpur of Aminbazar.

Of the fragments salvaged, 20 make up about 25% of the black terracotta statuette of Vishnu where the Hindu god stands with goddesses Saraswati and Laxmi on either side. The remainder pieces comprise a little over 10% of the bust, Swapan Kumar Biswas, acting keeper of the National Museum, told The Daily Star last evening. (more…)

December 28th, 2007

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ZIA-based smuggling ring destroyed stolen artefactsClaims Rab after arrest of 10 more but fails to recover remains in daylong search; motive still unexplainedJulfikar Ali Manik and Pinaki Roy (more…)

December 28th, 2007

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By Suzan Mazur


(left) Thracian boxer ———-<<< >>>>————- Three “ithyphallic” satyrs (right)

Hugh Eakin’s recent “Treasure Hunt” story in The New Yorker profiling Marion True, the former Getty curator on trial in Rome for conspiracy to traffic in ancient art, devotes a column to True’s 1991 paper on the destruction of ancient cultural sites, giving the impression that the Italian government is to blame for looting half of that country’s Greek and Roman history because it may have neglected its sites – Eakin doesn’t note that the entire country is an ancient site. Eakin also suggests that the Italians lack seriousness in prosecuting the two-year old antiquities trial in which dealers Bob Hecht and Giacomo Medici are named as co-conspirators – even though Medici’s already been convicted, sentenced to ten years and is appealing the court’s decision. Moreover, Eakin reduces Italy’s efforts in seeking the return of its cultural patrimony to a sports rivalry between the art carabinieri and ministry of culture – he doesn’t illuminate that from the outset one faction fought to get the loot back from American museums with no strings attached, i.e., it did not want to cave in to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s demands for loans.

What New York Times reporter Hugh Eakin particularly fails to do is reveal names, details and sources of information in his 14-page New Yorker cover story — even of the name of the editor of Connoisseur? Or give further insight into the actual looting and trafficking that’s taken place. And nowhere is there mention of the role played for decades by the NYT as an enabler of the trafficking, which Met Ancient Near East expert Oscar Muscarella first exposed years ago. [LINK Antiquities Whistleblower Oscar White Muscarella]

The above fragments, for example – which may serve as clues to the mindset of those charged in the Rome trial – were sold by Hecht in a 1988 Atlantic Antiquities Greek and Etruscan Archaic art show in New York that was highly publicized by the NYT. Times reporter Rita Reif barked dollar amounts in her pre-sale coverage, previously discussed on these pages [LINK Add NYT To Bob Hecht Antiquities Ring Organigram? ] – even of the exhibition’s fragments, noting a starting price of $500. Said Reif:

“Some of the richest detail is on fragments of painted vessels. Among the most compelling are. . .three headless satyrs. . . One of the smallest fragments in the show, less than two inches high, shows a tough-faced Thracian boxer scarred near the eye and jaw, with a hook nose and protruding chin, and with both hands visible – his right hand already wrapped while he draws the thong taut on his left.”

However the fragments that Reif described above in the NYT, and that are pictured at the top of this story, were never assigned a price on Hecht’s list at the time of the actual sale because by then they were already SOLD and disappeared into the market for an undisclosed amount.

Hecht pal and long-time Museum of Fine Arts curator of classical art, Cornelius Vermeule also promoted the sale, writing an introduction to Hecht’s catalog. Vermeule was one of Marion True’s early mentors and first introduced True to Bob Hecht, which Eakin surprisingly does mention in his article.

The boxer fragment Reif refers to (above, left) is from a red figured wine cup, 500 bc, proto-Panaitian painter. It Indeed depicts the fierce profile of a boxer wrapping his hand. He bears a nasty scar under his eye and gash under his chin. And knowing what we now know about Bob Hecht’s history of thuggery, the fragment appears to be somewhat autobiographical. [LINK “Bully Bob” Hecht And The Euphronios Questions]

Hecht’s affection for and exhibition of the second piece on the right, three “ithyphallic” silenes (satyrs) reveling, painted by Sophilos, 570 bc, may be Hecht’s personal statement about the conspiracy itself.

One of the silenes carries a drinking cup, a karchesion. Vermeule describes the procession as “woolly” and “charming” with “nymphs on their minds”. Or perhaps a Euphronios vase or two. . .

*************

Suzan Mazur’s stories on art and antiquities have been published in The Economist, Financial Times, Connoisseur, Archaeology (cover) and Newsday. Some of her other reports have appeared on PBS, CBC and MBC. She has been a guest on McLaughlin, Charlie Rose and various Fox television news programs. Email: sznmzr@aol.com

December 28th, 2007

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers, Mailing list reports

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By Suzan Mazur


(left) Thracian boxer ———-<<< >>>>————- Three “ithyphallic” satyrs (right)

Hugh Eakin’s recent “Treasure Hunt” story in The New Yorker profiling Marion True, the former Getty curator on trial in Rome for conspiracy to traffic in ancient art, devotes a column to True’s 1991 paper on the destruction of ancient cultural sites, giving the impression that the Italian government is to blame for looting half of that country’s Greek and Roman history because it may have neglected its sites – Eakin doesn’t note that the entire country is an ancient site. Eakin also suggests that the Italians lack seriousness in prosecuting the two-year old antiquities trial in which dealers Bob Hecht and Giacomo Medici are named as co-conspirators – even though Medici’s already been convicted, sentenced to ten years and is appealing the court’s decision. Moreover, Eakin reduces Italy’s efforts in seeking the return of its cultural patrimony to a sports rivalry between the art carabinieri and ministry of culture – he doesn’t illuminate that from the outset one faction fought to get the loot back from American museums with no strings attached, i.e., it did not want to cave in to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s demands for loans.

What New York Times reporter Hugh Eakin particularly fails to do is reveal names, details and sources of information in his 14-page New Yorker cover story — even of the name of the editor of Connoisseur? Or give further insight into the actual looting and trafficking that’s taken place. And nowhere is there mention of the role played for decades by the NYT as an enabler of the trafficking, which Met Ancient Near East expert Oscar Muscarella first exposed years ago. [LINK Antiquities Whistleblower Oscar White Muscarella]

The above fragments, for example – which may serve as clues to the mindset of those charged in the Rome trial – were sold by Hecht in a 1988 Atlantic Antiquities Greek and Etruscan Archaic art show in New York that was highly publicized by the NYT. Times reporter Rita Reif barked dollar amounts in her pre-sale coverage, previously discussed on these pages [LINK Add NYT To Bob Hecht Antiquities Ring Organigram? ] – even of the exhibition’s fragments, noting a starting price of $500. Said Reif:

“Some of the richest detail is on fragments of painted vessels. Among the most compelling are. . .three headless satyrs. . . One of the smallest fragments in the show, less than two inches high, shows a tough-faced Thracian boxer scarred near the eye and jaw, with a hook nose and protruding chin, and with both hands visible – his right hand already wrapped while he draws the thong taut on his left.”

However the fragments that Reif described above in the NYT, and that are pictured at the top of this story, were never assigned a price on Hecht’s list at the time of the actual sale because by then they were already SOLD and disappeared into the market for an undisclosed amount.

Hecht pal and long-time Museum of Fine Arts curator of classical art, Cornelius Vermeule also promoted the sale, writing an introduction to Hecht’s catalog. Vermeule was one of Marion True’s early mentors and first introduced True to Bob Hecht, which Eakin surprisingly does mention in his article.

The boxer fragment Reif refers to (above, left) is from a red figured wine cup, 500 bc, proto-Panaitian painter. It Indeed depicts the fierce profile of a boxer wrapping his hand. He bears a nasty scar under his eye and gash under his chin. And knowing what we now know about Bob Hecht’s history of thuggery, the fragment appears to be somewhat autobiographical. [LINK “Bully Bob” Hecht And The Euphronios Questions]

Hecht’s affection for and exhibition of the second piece on the right, three “ithyphallic” silenes (satyrs) reveling, painted by Sophilos, 570 bc, may be Hecht’s personal statement about the conspiracy itself.

One of the silenes carries a drinking cup, a karchesion. Vermeule describes the procession as “woolly” and “charming” with “nymphs on their minds”. Or perhaps a Euphronios vase or two. . .

*************

Suzan Mazur’s stories on art and antiquities have been published in The Economist, Financial Times, Connoisseur, Archaeology (cover) and Newsday. Some of her other reports have appeared on PBS, CBC and MBC. She has been a guest on McLaughlin, Charlie Rose and various Fox television news programs. Email: sznmzr@aol.com

December 28th, 2007

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers, Mailing list reports

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The exhibit “To whom do these canvases belong? French policy on seeking the provenance, custodianship and restitution of art works looted during World War II” will be held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem from February 19 to June 4, and from June 24 to September 28 at the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris. (more…)

December 27th, 2007

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Bangladesh Arrests 8 After Statue Theft

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) —

Col. Gulzar Uddin Ahmed of the Rapid Action Battalion said authorities were using information given by the suspects to carry out raids on premises near the capital to recover two terra-cotta statues of Hindu god Vishnu. (more…)

December 27th, 2007

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Brazil Police Suspect Employee in Picasso Theft, Globo Reports

By Adriana Brasileiro

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) —

The security guard encouraged his colleagues to sleep while on duty overnight, telling them he would watch the video from security cameras, Globo said. (more…)

December 27th, 2007

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Grania Litwin
Times Colonist

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It’s called Treasures Unearthed: Chinese Archeological Artifacts, but the exhibition now on display at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria could also have been called Tomb Raiders because it features almost 500 objects stolen from Chinese tombs. (more…)

December 27th, 2007

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INTERPOL a informé ses pays membres que deux tableaux de très grande valeur – dont un Picasso – avaient été volés au Musée d’art de Sao Paulo (Brésil) le jeudi 20 décembre. (more…)

December 26th, 2007

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Ukrainian police finds stolen painting by Russian classic artist25.12.2007, 22.18

LVOV, December 25 (Itar-Tass) – Ukrainian police have found a painting by the classical Russian realistic painter Ilya Repin that was stolen in April from a museum of arts in the West-Ukrainian city of Ternopol. Vitaly Maksimov, the chief of Interior department of the Ternopol region told reporters the canvas had been confiscated from a 40-year-old resident of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. (more…)

December 26th, 2007

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Govt decision to stop sending artefacts hailed.

Archaeologists and eminent citizens who had been opposing sending the country’s artefacts to an exhibition in France welcomed the government decision of cancelling any further shipment of the artefacts until the relic heist incidence is resolved. They also expressed their concern over retrieval of the two stolen precious relics and the safekeeping of the ones already shipped out to Guimet Museum in France. They demanded a comprehensive investigation into the entire process of sending the artefacts abroad. (more…)

December 25th, 2007

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La malédiction du musée Guimet

Des sculptures en bronze et en pierre, des terres cuites, des manuscrits des périodes où prédominaient le bouddhisme et l’hindouisme, ainsi que des monnaies en argent et des objets décoratifs des sultans musulmans devaient être exposés. Un trésor archéologique et artistique dont les pièces les plus anciennes dataient du IIIe siècle avant J.-C., et les plus récentes du XIXe après J.-C. Tous ces objets sans prix “devaient” être exposées… mais ne le seront pas, car l’exposition, après de multiples rebondissements, a été annulée mardi par les autorités du Bangladesh, dans une ambiance délétère… (more…)

December 25th, 2007

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La malédiction du musée Guimet

Des sculptures en bronze et en pierre, des terres cuites, des manuscrits des périodes où prédominaient le bouddhisme et l’hindouisme, ainsi que des monnaies en argent et des objets décoratifs des sultans musulmans devaient être exposés. Un trésor archéologique et artistique dont les pièces les plus anciennes dataient du IIIe siècle avant J.-C., et les plus récentes du XIXe après J.-C. Tous ces objets sans prix “devaient” être exposées… mais ne le seront pas, car l’exposition, après de multiples rebondissements, a été annulée mardi par les autorités du Bangladesh, dans une ambiance délétère… (more…)

December 25th, 2007

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Bangladesh wants return of artifacts loaned to France

Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:45pm GMT

DHAKA (Reuters) – “The Guimet Museum (in Paris) would be informed, regretfully, that it would not be possible to go ahead with holding the exhibition of the items as planned,” a statement from the office of the head of the interim government said on Tuesday. (more…)

December 25th, 2007

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DHAKA (AFP) — Bangladesh cancelled plans to send rare artefacts to Paris for a museum exhibition next year after two ancient statues of a Hindu deity were stolen en route to France. (more…)

December 25th, 2007

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The index of Museum Security Network mailing list messages (2,427) is available on line as a Word document at:

http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/MSN_messages_2007.doc

Via this Word document all individual messages can be reached.

Ton Cremers

December 25th, 2007

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Tussen 1 december 2006 en 25 december 2007 werden 2.427 berichten over incidenten met cultuurgoed gestuurd naar de abonnees van de Museum Security Network mailing list. De index van deze berichten kan worden gedownload op: http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/MSN_messages_2007.doc.

Dit Word bestand bevat links die rechtstreeks leiden naar alle berichten over incidenten in musea, bibliotheken, archieven en kerken, over illegale handel in kunst en atiquiteiten, vervalsingen, roof in oorlogstijd, etc etc. 

December 25th, 2007

Posted In: algemeen

Russia May Allow Show in London After U.K. Speeds Up Art Law

By Henry Meyer

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) — Russia may give the go-ahead to a London exhibition of works from its museums after the U.K. government pledged to speed up passage of legislation protecting artworks from seizure. (more…)

December 24th, 2007

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Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate, which consists of three gods responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world.

The other two gods are Brahma and Shiva. Hinduism is a minority faith in Bangladesh, which is overwhelmingly Muslim.

The government’s cultural affairs adviser, Ayub Quadri, told the BBC he was thinking of resigning over the issue.

“Ultimately we at the ministry have to take responsibility,” he said.

Mr Quadri said the government had stepped up security measures on the border with India, after reports the stolen objects could be smuggled out of the country.

The French embassy in Dhaka condemned the theft.

“It is obviously an important loss and we have no doubt that fast, decisive and efficient measures will lead to finding the criminals,” charge d’affaires Jean Romnicianu told Reuters news agency.

December 24th, 2007

Posted In: theft reports

It was a spectacular sight by all accounts. A huge mass of marble covered with protective white material was raised from the top of one of the most well known rock tops in the world, the rock of Akropolis, some 165 meters above sea level, and was gently lowered down a few hundred meters away, at the entrance of the newly inaugurated Museum of Acropolis. With all Museum officials, politicians and TV cameras watching, that gentle operation by an intricate system of enormous aerial cranes was the first of a series of delicate removing jobs of the fragile statutes of Parthenon to their new house. A much delayed and complicated project which was finally completed this year. (more…)

December 24th, 2007

Posted In: Parthenon Marbles

2 Paris-bound statues stolen from ZIA
France finds it ‘highly suspicious’
Staff Correspondent
Named ‘Vishnu’ and ‘Bust of Vishnu’, the statues are from Gupta era of the seventh century. Since being discovered in a dig at Mahasthangarh of Bogra, they had been kept at the National Museum. Their insurance value totalled 45,000 euros that is equivalent to around Tk 45 lakh, sources at the cultural ministry said. (more…)

December 23rd, 2007

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Reactie op column in Museumberichten van Siebe Weide, directeur Museumvereniging, over de brand in het Armando Museum en de sprinklerdiscussie

23/12/2007 – 12:16

Na de brand

Museumberichten, november 2007, van de Museumvereniging bevat een column van de Museumverenigingdirecteur Siebe Weide met de titel Na de brand. Die column van Siebe Weide bevat enkele formuleringen die uitnodigen tot reactie.

Ik weet niet of het klopt dat de brandweer het Armando Museum brandveilig had verklaard, maar neem aan dat deze door Siebe Weide verstrekte informatie juist is. Dat moet de brandweer dan gedaan hebben in het kader van het Bouwbesluit, de Bouwverordening en de Gebruiksvergunning. Siebe Weide’s opmerking over de verklaring van de brandweer wordt gevolgd door: “Toch was veiligheidsdeskundige Ton Cremers meteen in staat te concluderen dat de brand niet ver gekomen was als er een sprinklerinstallatie in de kap van het museum aanwezig zou zijn geweest”.  De woorden ‘meteen’ en ‘toch’ suggereren dat er een tegenstrijdigheid bestaat tussen de goedkeuring door de brandweer en mijn opmerking over sprinklers. Die tegenstrijdigheid is er niet. De brandweer kijkt bij de brandveiligheid van gebouwen naar de veiligheid voor mens en dier en niet naar de veiligheid van museumcollecties. Het is mijn vak ook naar dat laatste te kijken.

Volgens Bouwbesluit en Bouwverordening mag de brandweer slechts onder bepaalde omstandigheden een sprinklerinstallatie eisen. Die eisen golden blijkbaar niet voor de Elleboogkerk waar het Armandomuseum in gehuisvest was. In de meeste gevallen mag de brandweer ook geen brandmeldsysteem (rookmelders) eisen. Toch zou niemand mij wijzen op een tegenstrijdigheid met de eisen van de brandweer wanneer ik na een brand zou verklaren dat een brandmeldsysteem de schade aanzienlijk had beperkt omdat er dan een snellere alarmopvolging was geweest. Hoewel niet geeist door de brandweer en niet vereist in het kader van de Gebruiksvergunning zijn er gelukkig heel veel erfgoedbeheerders die een brandmeldinstallatie hebben.

Na mijn opmerkingen op TV en radio over sprinklers “…. was de nationale pers een dag lang alleen nog geïnteresseerd in de ontbrekende sprinklers en kon elke museumdirecteur die de pers te woord stond zich verantwoorden voor het niet hebben van sprinklers.”  Interessanter dan de vragen over sprinklers die de museumdirecteuren kregen voorgelegd zijn de antwoorden die ze op die vragen hebben gegeven. Blijkbaar was in de column van Siebe Weide te weinig ruimte daar iets over te schrijven. Voor de geinteresseerden is dat te lezen op: http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/sprinklerdiscussie.pdf.

Een brand als in het Armando Museum komt volgens Weide slechts eens in de 70 jaar in Nederland voor. Daar heeft hij gelijk in: IN NEDERLAND. Wordt hier door Siebe Weide bedoeld dat het installeren van sprinklers overbodig is omdat zo’n brand ‘slechts’ eens in de 70 jaar voor komt? Nederland is geen eiland. Bij systematisch risicobeheer is het heel gebruikelijk verder te kijken dan de grenzen van het eigen land.

Drie jaar geleden brandde de Anna Amaliabibliotheek in Weimar voor een groot deel af. Er gingen 50.000 boeken verloren en twee keer zo veel boeken werden beschadigd (in de week waarin het Armando Museum afbrandde werd de gerestaureerde Anna Amalia Bibliothek heropend, nu met een geavanceerd sprinklersysteem op basis van watermist). Twee jaar geleden brandde in het Belgische Ieper het Onderwijsmuseum in zijn geheel af. Dat museum was evenals het Armando Museum gevestigd in een kerkgebouw. Er zullen weinigen onder ons zijn die zich niet de branden in de opera La Fenice, Windsor Castle en de Hofburg kunnen herinneren. Binnen de door Siebe Weide genoemde periode van 70 jaar deden zich in Europa, de USA en Canada meer dan 30.000 branden voor in musea en bibliotheken; vele daarvan met aanzienlijke schade.

Siebe Weide’s column begint met de relativering dat museumbranden eens per 70 jaar in Nederland voorkomen en eindigt met: “Boijmans en het Natuurhistorisch Museum staan er nu (trots) bij, als feniksen uit de as herrezen. Nu het Armando Museum nog.”

Konden we dat ook maar zeggen van de bij die branden verloren geraakte collecties….

Ton Cremers; toncremers@museumbeveiliging.com

23 december 2007

Meer info over sprinklers: http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/sprinklerdiscussie.pdf

De volledige tekst van Siebe Weide’s column: http://www.museumvereniging.nl/mailing/MB_07_09.html

Op 7 februari 2008 organiseert de sectie Veiligheidszorg en Facilitymanagement van de Museumvereniging in het Catharijneconvent te Utrecht een themabijeenkomst over sprinklers.

Bron: Museumbeveiliging, Ton Cremers » Blog Archive » Reactie op column in Museumberichten van Siebe Weide, directeur Museumvereniging, over de brand in het Armando Museum en de sprinklerdiscussie

December 23rd, 2007

Posted In: Geen categorie

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Na de brand 

Museumberichten, november 2007, van de Museumvereniging bevat een column van de Museumverenigingdirecteur Siebe Weide met de titel Na de brand. Die column van Siebe Weide bevat enkele formuleringen die uitnodigen tot reactie. (more…)

December 23rd, 2007

Posted In: algemeen, brand Armando Museum

Tags: , , ,

Prince Jefri at heart of Royal Academy‘s Russian art theft fears

Written by queen mudder

London – (Even Worse Ass Mess): Brunei’s most accomplished terrorist gangster Prince Jefri Archer is at the heart of allegations that artworks systematically looted from the UK ended up in Russian mobsters’ hands. (more…)

December 23rd, 2007

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Michael Reppas realized a lifelong dream last summer when he was granted the rare opportunity to set foot inside the Parthenon, a 2,500-year-old Greek structure that has been off limits to tourists for more than 15 years. (more…)

December 22nd, 2007

Posted In: Parthenon Marbles

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Thieves who stole a valuable Picasso painting from a Brazilian art museum this week apparently didn’t have to work very hard. On Friday, officials admitted there wasn’t much of a security system in place at the cash-strapped museum. (more…)

December 22nd, 2007

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Redacción BBC Mundo

El “Retrato de Suzanne Bloch”, de Picasso, está valorado en US$50 millones.

Los responsables del Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo, en Brasil, donde esta semana robaron dos cuadros con un valor estimado de más de US$50 millones, admitieron que la colección no estaba asegurada.

Además, reconocieron que existen graves deficiencias en el sistema de seguridad de la institución museística.

Según informaron fuentes del museo, la alarma no estaba conectada cuando robaron el “Retrato de Suzanne Bloch”, del español Pablo Picasso, y el “Labrador de café” del pintor brasileño Cándido Portinari, consideradas las dos piezas más valiosas de la colección del museo.

El robo fue perpetrado por tres hombres que forzaron la puerta del moderno edificio en una operación que duró tres minutos. (more…)

December 22nd, 2007

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December 22nd, 2007

Posted In: diefstal

ABN Amro sells its art for €1

Friday 21 December 2007

ABN Amro sold its important art collection for a symbolic €1 to the ABN Amro Art Collection Foundation, just prior to the bank being taken over, the Telegraaf reports on Friday. (more…)

December 22nd, 2007

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December 22nd, 2007

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Suzanne B. Stryker | campwiseacres@yahoo.com | paintyoga.com |

This is the second time a painting of mine was stolen from my art exhibits this year – both were stolen from my solo shows at Entree Café Gallery in Fairfield Iowa, USA, which is in a busy section of town right across from the post office.

The paintings were uninsured. This is an unusual crime the first time and certainly the second time. I feel slapped and deeply complimented twice! (more…)

December 22nd, 2007

Posted In: theft reports

Pablo Picasso, “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch”, 1904
Candido Portinari, “The Coffee Worker”, 1939

Thieves steal two valuable paintings from Sao Paulo Museum in a dawn raid on 20 December 2007

In the early hours of the 20December 2007 thieves broke into the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil, using only a crow bar and a car jack, and stole two works of art by Pablo Picasso and Brazil’s Candido Portinari. The two paintings have not been valued but Picasso’s “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch” (1904) is thought to be worth up to 50 million U.S. dollars and Portinari’s “The Coffee Worker” (1939) is estimated to be worth at least 5 million U.S. dollars. The theft took place between 5:09am and 5:12am, and was caught on surveillance cameras. It was the first successful heist since the museum opened 60 years ago. The thieves ignored works by Matisse, Renoir and Van Gogh hanging nearby.Hugo Gorst-Williams, from the Art Loss Register’s London Office commented: “While this theft was clearly well organised, the thieves will not be able to sell these paintings on the open market. The possible motivations for the theft may be naïve greed by the thieves or so-called ‘trophy theft’ by which they seek to climb up the criminal ladder by associating themselves with a high profile crime.  As for the potential recovery of these paintings- they may well turn up in the very near future as police invest resources in to such high-value and much publicised cases and thieves realise the impossibility of selling them on the market. If they do not come to light soon, it is possible that they will slip into the shady sphere of organised crime and take up a token value as collateral in dealings between criminal gangs.  Certainly, I would be hesitant to label this as a ‘stolen-to-order’ case. The conception of a ‘Mr. Big’ commissioning thefts of artworks to hang on the walls of their lairs has very little foundation in reality.” The Art Loss Register (ALR) has recorded the Sao Paulo theft on its database of stolen and missing works of art. Picasso’s “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch” joins over 550 missing or stolen works by the artist which have already been registered on the ALR database. In the past the ALR have helped to recover numerous paintings by Picasso, including “Femme en Blanc” which was stolen whilst on consignment with a Jewish art dealer in Paris during World War Two.

The ALR identified this picture when it was offered for sale by a private collector from Chicago. A financial settlement was agreed between the two parties.  Other stolen artworks by Picasso include a sculpture and five paintings from the MOMA in New York in 1993, a painting stolen from the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester in 2003 and another taken from an art gallery in Monaco in 2006. The latter two have since been recovered. Around a quarter of ALR’s recoveries have come within a year of theft, with the average time between loss and identification about four years for ALR’s recovered cases.  

In addition to the Sao Paulo Picasso and Portinari there are numerous items registered with the ALR which were stolen or reported missing from Brazil including 17th Century Dutch paintings, items of silverware, church furniture, a French horn and even a priceless Brazilian Akangatar feathered headdress. The Art Loss Register (ALR) is the world’s largest private international database of lost and stolen art, antiques and collectibles that provides recovery and search services to private individuals, collectors, the art trade, insurers and law enforcement through technology and a professionally trained staff of art historians. 

The ALR was formed in 1991 through a partnership between leading auction houses and art trade associations, the insurance industry and the International Foundation of Art Research.  Since that time, the ALR have been responsible for and involved in the recovery of over 1,000 works of art worth around £100,000,000. With over 170,000 items on its database of lost and stolen art and antiques, and undertaking around 300,000 searches a year of this database, the ALR are recognised as an integral part both of art recovery and also of museums and the art trade undertaking their necessary due diligence. The ALR is, however, far more than a database company. Their expertise in the field of art crime, logistics, inventories and title negotiations are second to none.  

If you have any information regarding this theft please contact:   New York Office  The Art Loss Register108 West 39th Street, Suite 506

New York, New York 10018Tel: (212) 297-0941Fax: (212) 354-9020Toll Free: (877)

ART-LOSSEmail: info@alrny.com 

London OfficeThe Art Loss RegisterFirst Floor63-66 Hatton GardenLondonTel: +44 (0)20 7841 5780Fax: +44 (0)20 7841 5781Email:artloss@artloss.com 

Cologne OfficeArt Loss Register GmbHObenmarspforten 7 – 11D-50667 KoelnTel:  00 49 221 257 6996Fax:  00 49 221 257 6995

Email:  ulli.seegers@artloss.com 

Amsterdam Office

The Art Loss RegisterJoop Geesinkweg 9991096 AZ AmsterdamTel:  0049 221 257 6996Fax:  0049 221 257 6995

Email:  victorine.stille@artloss.com

December 21st, 2007

Posted In: Mailing list reports

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Picasso stolen from Brazil museum  photo: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7154101.stm 

Police said Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Suzanne Bloch, and The Coffee Worker by Brazil’s Candido Portinari, were taken from the Museum of Art of Sao Paulo. The operation, which lasted about three minutes, was caught on security cameras, officials said. (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: theft reports

Graag nodigen wij u uit voor de studiedag ‘Feiten & Fabels over sprinklerinstallaties’ op donderdag 7 februari 2008 in Museum Catharijneconvent te Utrecht. Het wordt een gesprek en discussie over het nut van de sprinklerinstallatie. De voor’s en tegen’s en ook de alternatieven komen aan bod. Welke maatregelen neem je om brand te voorkomen? Voorkomen is beter dan herstellen. Wat zijn die alternatieven dan? En als de nood er is? Wat doe je dan ook alweer met de kunst? (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: congressen

Graag nodigen wij u uit voor de studiedag ‘Feiten & Fabels over sprinklerinstallaties’ op donderdag 7 februari 2008 in Museum Catharijneconvent te Utrecht. Het wordt een gesprek en discussie over het nut van de sprinklerinstallatie. De voor’s en tegen’s en ook de alternatieven komen aan bod. Welke maatregelen neem je om brand te voorkomen? Voorkomen is beter dan herstellen. Wat zijn die alternatieven dan? En als de nood er is? Wat doe je dan ook alweer met de kunst? (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: congressen

Commentary by Martin Gayford Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — Not since the days of the ingenious Dutchman Han van Meegeren has a forgery got so far. On Dec. 12, the Art Institute of Chicago said that “The Faun,” a ceramic sculpture attributed to Paul Gauguin in the museum’s collection, was really the work of the recently sentenced Shaun Greenhalgh of Bolton, northern England. In the course of an investigation by Scotland Yard, Greenhalgh confirmed that “The Faun” was one of the works he forged, the museum said. (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: forgery, Mailing list reports

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Located on a flat rock in the heart of Athens, the 5th-century BC structure is a beacon of antiquity that will soon be complemented by a modern museum at the southern foot of the Sacred Rock. According to Greece’s Minister of Culture Mihalis Liapis, the transfer of antiquities to the Acropolis Museum will be finished in a month well ahead of its grand opening in September. (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: Mailing list reports, news comments / discussions, Parthenon Marbles

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Italian Antiquities Going Home

On Friday, On Friday, nearly 70 ancient masterpieces will go on display in Rome’s Quirinale Palace. The exhibition is more than a celebration of the wonders of Roman, Greek and Etruscan art: it’s the payoff for a long campaign the country’s cultural authorities have waged against museums it accuses of illegally acquiring its antiquities. For years, Italy has been pressing for the return of artifacts and artworks it says were illegally excavated and exported. Many were illegally dug up, smuggled out of the country and sold to art dealers in Switzerland and New York who sold them on to museums in the US and elsewhere — sometimes with the dirt still on them. “Now their odyssey is over,” Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli told reporters on Monday. “They are going home.” (more…)

December 20th, 2007

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers, Mailing list reports

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