Archaeological sites boasting ancient paintings and engravings of giraffes, buffalo and elephants have been defaced within the past two years by personnel attached to the UN mission, known by its French acronym, Minurso. (more…)

January 31st, 2008

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The investigation, which resulted last week in raids on a Los Angeles gallery and four museums in Southern California, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, was known to focus on artifacts taken from protected archaeological sites in Thailand, Myanmar, China and New Mexico. Additional search warrants released by federal authorities show that the investigation also includes artifacts from Guatemala and El Salvador. (more…)

January 31st, 2008

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

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January 29th, 2008

Posted In: insider theft

Die neun Versicherungen sollen fünf Millionen Euro an die Klassik Stiftung Weimar zahlen, schlägt das Gericht vor. Das ist ein Viertel der umstrittenen Summe. “Der Ausgang ist völlig offen”, sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Karl-Heinz Buus beim Gütetermin. Der Versicherungsvertrag ist seiner Meinung nach nicht eindeutig formuliert. Strittig ist, ob die Versicherungssumme für die Bibliothek bei 20 Millionen oder nur 2,5 Millionen Euro lag. Bei dem Feuer im September 2004 waren 50.000 Bücher und 34 Gemälde verbrannt, 62.000 Bände wurden beschädigt. (more…)

January 29th, 2008

Posted In: Fire in cultural institutions

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January 29th, 2008

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January 29th, 2008

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January 29th, 2008

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

Zaterdag 26 januari meldde ik aan Marktplaats dat op http://link.marktplaats.nl/143240729  een Constant vervalsing wordt aangeboden. Het is mij bekend dat ik niet de enige ben die aan de bel trok over deze poging tot oplichting. Lees hieronder het antwoord van Marktplaats. Mijn reactie is te lezen aansluitend op het bericht van Marktplaats. (more…)

January 28th, 2008

Posted In: vervalsing

Four prominent Southern California museums and two male suspects got caught in an extensive FBI web that brought a 500-agent federal raid down upon them Thursday. The raids came after an ongoing investigation came to fruition regarding looted and smuggled art, allegedly taken from Thailand, China, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and Native American digs within the United States. The case also alleges charges of tax fraud against its perps. (more…)

January 27th, 2008

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Four prominent Southern California museums and two male suspects got caught in an extensive FBI web that brought a 500-agent federal raid down upon them Thursday. The raids came after an ongoing investigation came to fruition regarding looted and smuggled art, allegedly taken from Thailand, China, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and Native American digs within the United States. The case also alleges charges of tax fraud against its perps. (more…)

January 27th, 2008

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The Balboa Park institution is one of five California museums caught up in an investigation that is bringing attention to the gray areas of how pieces are acquired in the world of art collecting and museums. (more…)

January 26th, 2008

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Op Marktplaats wordt een vervalste Constant aangeboden op: http://link.marktplaats.nl/143240729

Volgens experts is dit absoluut GEEN Constant en is de handtekening vervalst. Aangezien de verkoper, Pierre uit Breda, de geboorte- en sterfdatum van Constant Nieuwenhuis vermeldt in zijn advertentie wordt de indruk gewekt dat we hier te maken zouden hebben met DE Constant uit de Cobra beweging. Dit is NIET juist!

January 26th, 2008

Posted In: algemeen

Op Marktplaats wordt een vervalste Constant aangeboden op: http://link.marktplaats.nl/143240729

Volgens experts is dit absoluut GEEN Constant en is de handtekening vervalst. Aangezien de verkoper, Pierre uit Breda, de geboorte- en sterfdatum van Constant Nieuwenhuis vermeldt in zijn advertentie wordt de indruk gewekt dat we hier te maken zouden hebben met DE Constant uit de Cobra beweging. Dit is NIET juist!

January 26th, 2008

Posted In: algemeen

The man identified as “the smuggler” in a federal investigation into stolen artifacts lives in a cluttered two-bedroom apartment in Cerritos and works out of a pair of rented storage lockers sealed with cheap gym locks.Olson is 79 years old, with tired eyes and two days of white stubble on his chin. He insists he did nothing wrong and, a day after federal agents raided his home, says he has government documents that show he was operating within the law.

But when he goes to look for those documents, he can’t find them. “Aw, they took ‘em,” he says. “Those lousy bums.” (more…)

January 26th, 2008

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Federal agents carry material from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Thursday Jan. 24, 2008 in Los Angeles.Story Published: Jan 25, 2008 at 8:05 AM PSTStory Updated: Jan 25, 2008 at 8:05 AM PSTBy Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Federal agents raided several Southern California museums on Thursday, mostly in search of artifacts allegedly taken from Thailand’s Ban Chiang archeological site, one of the most important prehistoric settlements ever discovered in Southeast Asia. Authorities believe they were smuggled into the U.S. and donated at inflated prices so collectors could claim fraudulent tax deductions. (more…)

January 25th, 2008

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By Tony Manolatosand Jeanette SteeleUNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

January 25, 2008

Federal agents raided the Mingei International Museum yesterday. Authorities said about 70 items there probably were illegally obtained.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is one of five Southern California museums caught up in a federal investigation involving stolen ancient Thai artifacts, a so-called grave robber and tax fraud. (more…)

January 25th, 2008

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By Jason FelchLos Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 25, 2008

Even as the country’s most prominent museums were embarrassed by revelations of stolen artifacts in their collections, several local museums continued to pursue objects they had reason to believe were taken illegally from Thailand, Myanmar, China and Native American sites within the United States, according to search warrants served Thursday. (more…)

January 25th, 2008

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LOS ANGELES — Federal agents raided a Los Angeles gallery and four museums in Southern California on Thursday, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as part of a five-year investigation into the smuggling of looted antiquities from Thailand, Myanmar, China and Native American sites.The other institutions searched were the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, the Mingei International Museum in San Diego and the Silk Roads Gallery in Los Angeles.

At the center of the investigation are the owners of the Silk Roads Gallery, Jonathan Markell and his wife, Cari Markell, and Robert Olson, who is said in the search warrants to have smuggled looted antiquities out of Thailand, Myanmar and China.

In affidavits supporting the warrants, federal agents said the Markells had imported looted antiquities provided by Mr. Olson and then arranged to donate them to museums on behalf of clients who took inflated tax deductions for the gifts.

No charges have been filed in the investigation, which was described as continuing by a spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The inquiry is being conducted by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office, the National Park Service and the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service.

Even though looted antiquities have been the subject of recent investigations here and in a high-profile prosecution in Italy of a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the raids were a startling development. Most recent investigations involving museum collections have involved objects excavated in Italy or Greece.

The affidavits accompanying the warrants detailed meetings between an undercover agent for the National Park Service, who for years posed as a collector, and the Markells and representatives of some of the museums.

In cases involving at least two institutions, the Bowers and the Pacific Asia museums, the affidavits say curators appeared to be aware that the objects that they were accepting as donations had been looted or illegally imported.

The affidavit describes a process in which objects were smuggled after being painted or affixed with stickers reading “Made in Thailand” to make the pieces look like replicas.

Several of the museums have objects in their permanent collections that were donated by the Markells or their clients, according to the affidavits. Michael Govan, the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said at a news conference that the museum had about 60 objects related to the investigation that had been donated by the Markells or other museum members over the last decade.

Mr. Govan said the museum was fully cooperating with the authorities. He also defended the museum’s process for reviewing potential donations, noting that in the affidavit Mr. Markell is quoted as warning the undercover agent away from a donation to the museum because officials there “were sticklers for having good provenance.”

Yet the affidavit also cites a statement by Mr. Markell that the museum had been able to get around the ban on imports of Thai artifacts because it “had found a loophole” in the law. One such discussion involved a vessel from the Ban Chiang culture in Thailand that the museum was interested in acquiring, according to the affidavit.

Mr. Govan denied that the museum knew of such loopholes or had looked for them. “There is no loophole that we know about,” he said. “If anybody can identify one, we would be the first to close it.”

Mr. Govan said no objects had been removed from his museum on Thursday by the investigators, who in the warrant said their intent was to review and copy computer records regarding donations by the Markells or their clients. But search warrants for some of the other institutions included artifacts that were to be seized.

Heidi Simonian, a spokeswoman for the Bowers Museum, said that it was cooperating with the authorities but that no officials were available to comment. Peter Keller, the director of the Bowers Museum, and Armand Labbé, a former curator of the museum who died in 2005, were said in the affidavits to be aware that some of the donated objects had been illegally acquired.

Ms. Simonian said she was not aware whether agents had removed any artifacts from the Bowers Museum.

Rob Sidner, the director of the Mingei International Museum, said in a statement that if the investigation showed that any of the artifacts in its collections had been improperly donated, “we will return them to the rightful owners.”

Representatives of the other institutions and the Markells did not return calls seeking comment on Thursday.

According to the affidavits, the undercover agent made as many as 10 purchases of items stolen from Thailand or illegally imported from Myanmar. The Markells also showed the undercover agent a collection of antiquities that they said had been stolen from China, the authorities said.

In more than 120 pages of search warrants and affidavits, the authorities described one typical transaction as follows:

The Markells would acquire an object from Mr. Olson and then offer it for sale to the undercover agent for about $1,500. They would provide an appraisal valuing the object at close to $4,990, an amount calculated to get around tax regulations requiring more documentation for bigger donations. The appraisals sometimes falsely stated that the estimated values were prepared at the Southeast Asian Museum in Bangkok. The Markells would then arrange for the donation of an object to a museum.

In addition to the South Asian antiquities, objects taken from the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and El Malpais National Monument, both in New Mexico, were also cited.

http://www.nytimes.com/

January 25th, 2008

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

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Indonesia negotiates return of ancient stone from Scotland. JAKARTA (AFP) The Sangguran stone, a column dated 928 AD and inscribed with ancient Javanese characters, was taken from its site near the modern-day town of Malang in East Java in 1812, said Hadi Untoro Drajat of the culture ministry. (more…)

January 24th, 2008

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

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) The search warrants gave agents the authority to search the museum’s galleries, storage areas offices and computers. (more…)

January 24th, 2008

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From: kwame opoku [mailto:k.opoku@sil.at]
Maybe because I come from a country which has not been noted for warfare and aggressive actions, and does not see itself as permanently involved in wars, it is somewhat difficult for me to understand the vocabulary and metaphors of war which others use as their daily vocabulary for communication on many matters, including issues related to culture. Thus the article by Lee Rosenbaum in the Los Angeles Times of January 21, 2008, entitled, “Make art loans, not war”, presented me some problems of understanding and appreciation. (more…)

January 24th, 2008

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects, looting and illegal art traffickers

Die Weimarer Klassikstiftung klagt nach dem Brand in der Anna Amalia Bibliothek mehr als 13 Millionen Euro von ihrer Versicherung ein. Nach Angaben des Landgerichts Erfurt vom Dienstag wehrt sich die Versicherung gegen diese Forderung, da die Bücher nicht unter den Versicherungsschutz fielen. Er umfasse nur ausleihbare Gegenstände. Der Zivilprozess beginnt an diesem Mittwoch vor dem Erfurter Landgericht. (more…)

January 22nd, 2008

Posted In: Fire in cultural institutions, Mailing list reports

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Un archéologue égyptien montre la statue du dieu des cimetières, Petah Sakar. Un trésor à protéger!Un marché important

Depuis 2005, une loi permet en effet à la Suisse de conclure des accords bilatéraux avec les pays dont le patrimoine est menacé. Ainsi lors de son récent voyage en Egypte, le président de la Confédération et ministre de la Culture Pascal Couchepin a-t-il conclu avec son homologue égyptien Farouk Hosni un accord qui devrait être signé en avril. De tels accords visant à réglementer l’importation et la restitution des biens culturels ont déjà été signés avec l’Italie, le Pérou et la Grèce. Des négociations sont aussi en cours avec le Mexique, la Turquie et l’Algérie. Autant de pays dont le riche patrimoine fait l’objet de fouilles sauvages et de trafic illicite. D’où leur intérêt à conclure de tels accords avec la Suisse, qui, avec des échanges atteignant près de 1,5 milliard de francs, est l’un des cinq plus grands marchés mondiaux dans le domaine de l’art. «Dans un premier temps, ces accords sont presque exclusivement axés sur les biens archéologiques. Les principes sont les mêmes pour tous les pays, avec de petits ajustements», explique Yves Fischer, responsable du service Transfert des biens culturels à l’Office fédéral de la culture (OFC).

Offres douteuses sur Internet

Reconnaissant que «la probabilité de trouver un bien archéologique suisse exporté illégalement au Pérou ou en Grèce est moindre que l’inverse», Yves Fischer assure néanmoins que la Suisse tire avantage de cette logique bilatérale. «Ces accords renforcent la sécurité juridique des acteurs du marché de l’art en Suisse. Ils évitent que la Suisse soit, comme par le passé, épinglée comme une plaque tournante du commerce illicite car ils permettent de serrer la vis un peu plus fort: les commerçants savent avec quels pays il faut une vigilance accrue.» Reste qu’à l’heure des ventes en ligne, le commerce illicite a de belles heures devant lui. Inquiets à ce sujet, l’UNESCO, Interpol et le Conseil international des musées ont émis un catalogue de mesures pour lutter contre le phénomène de la dispersion illégale qui, selon eux, prend toujours plus d’ampleur. En Suisse, l’affaire de la tablette irakienne a montré qu’il était possible d’intervenir. Mais c’est l’avertissement, en Allemagne, d’un internaute spécialisé dans ce type d’antiquités qui a été déterminant. «Nous avons des indices comme quoi il y a un certain nombre d’offres douteuses sur Internet. Cela nous a incité à ouvrir une collaboration avec e-Bay ou Ricardo.ch. En Suisse, on est en train d’établir des mesures qui prévoient de limiter, voire d’interdire, la vente d’objets archéologiques sur ces plateformes internet», indique Yves Fischer.

Coopération indispensable

Du côté d’e-Bay et de Ricardo.ch, on affiche sa volonté de coopérer avec les autorités. Et l’interdiction de vendre des objets archéologiques en ligne est à l’étude. «e-Bay part du principe que tout ce qui est légalement vendable doit pouvoir être vendu sur son site», explique Sabine Schneider, porte-parole de la société pour la Suisse. Elle admet néanmoins que la plateforme ne dispose ni des spécialistes nécessaires pour identifier les offres susceptibles d’être illicites, ni des moyens de contrôler la validité des certificats de légalité des pièces vendues. Raison pour laquelle e-Bay et les autres plateformes s’en remettent à l’Etat. Selon Yves Fischer, il n’est pas dans leur intérêt, en termes d’image, de voir l’Etat intervenir dans leurs ventes en cas de soupçons d’illégalité. Pour sa part, il préconise, comme l’ICOM, un partage clair des responsabilités: «Nous disposons de spécialistes et d’archéologues cantonaux. C’est eux qui peuvent réagir. Par contre ces plateformes sont tenus d’agir rapidement en cas de soupçon pour qu’on puisse engager des poursuites s’il y a lieu.»

LISTES ROUGES

Le Conseil international des musées (ICOM) a établi des listes de biens culturels les plus touchés par le pillage et le vol. Ces objets sont protégés par les législations de leur pays. Ils sont interdits d’exportation et ne doivent en aucun cas être proposés à la vente. Les listes rouges ont pour but d’inciter les musées, les salles de ventes, les marchands d’art et les collectionneurs à ne plus acheter ces objets. Elles ont été conçues pour aider les services de police et de douane, ainsi que les marchands d’art, à identifier ces objets.

L’ICOM a établi quatre listes rouges: pour l’Afrique, pour l’Amérique latine, pour l’Irak et pour l’Afghanistan.

Interpol établit pour sa part une liste des objets culturels volés.

CONTEXTE

La Suisse a longtemps fait exception en matière de règlementation du commerce de l’art à cause des lacunes que comportait sa législation. La question du trafic illicite des œuvres culturelles a notamment été relancée en Suisse dans les années 90 lors du débat sur la restitution des avoirs juifs. En octobre 2003, la Suisse a ratifié la Convention de l’UNESCO de 1970 contre le trafic illégal de biens culturels.

En juin 2005 est entrée en vigueur la loi fédérale sur le transfert des biens culturels, qui vise à empêcher le trafic illicite. Cette loi met un terme au commerce anonyme. Désormais, les marchands d’art et les maisons de vente aux enchères doivent déclarer avec qui ils font des affaires. Ils ont l’obligation de tenir un registre qui permet de reconstituer le cheminement des objets en cas de litige sur leur origine.Pour sa part, le propriétaire d’un bien culturel volé peut exiger sa restitution pendant trente ans, contre cinq ans seulement auparavant.

LIENS

* Mesures élémentaires concernant les objets culturels mis en vente sur Internet UNESCO (PDF) (http://portal.unesco.org/culture/fr/files/21559/11836449659MesuresTraficIllicite.pdf/MesuresTraficIllicite.pdf)* Listes rouges du Conseil international des musées (ICOM) (http://icom.museum/redlist/)* Interpol

trafic d’art (http://www.interpol.int/Public/WorkOfArt/DefaultFr.asp)* Transfert des biens culturels Office fédéral de la culture (http://www.nb.admin.ch/bak/themen/kulturguetertransfer/index.html?lang=fr)* Loi fédérale sur le transfert des biens culturels (PDF) (

http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/ff/2003/4019.pdf)* Convention de l’UNESCO de 1970 (http://www.unesco.org/culture/laws/1970/html_fr/page1.shtml)URL de cet article:http://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/swissinfo.html?siteSect=105&sid=8639173

January 21st, 2008

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

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Theft at museum in high-security zone.  The Museum is located in a high-security zone – just a stone’s throw from the Legislative Assembly and the Police Control Room – but had only six security guards on night duty. Two years ago a Bhoodevi stone sculpture had disappeared from the museum and two museum staff were suspended. (more…)

January 19th, 2008

Posted In: Museum thefts

ollector Returns Art Italy Says Was Looted. After 18 months of intense negotiations, the New York philanthropist Shelby White has ceded 10 classical antiquities from her private collection that Italy contends were looted from its soil, the Italian culture minister confirmed this week. Nine of the 10 ancient Greek and Etruscan objects were delivered on Wednesday to the Italian Consulate on Park Avenue and will soon be crated and shipped to Italy, the minister, Francesco Rutelli, said in an interview in Rome. The remaining piece, a rare fifth-century B.C. Greek vessel, will go to Italy in 2010. (more…)

January 19th, 2008

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The full 45 pp article by Kwame Opoku [k.opoku@sil.at], including photographs, is available at:http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/benin_to_berlin.pdf

“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause. (1)

Head of Queen Mother-iyoba. Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin:

The full 45 pp article by Kwame Opoku [k.opoku@sil.at], including photographs, is available at:

http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/benin_to_berlin.pdf

The Benin Exhibition, Benin: Kings and Rituals. Court Arts from Nigeria goes to Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum from February 7 to May 25, 2008. The Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde, renamed Ethnologisches Museum as from 2000,was legally established on 12 December, 1873 largely due to the tireless efforts of Adolf Bastian (1826-1905), its first director who is considered by many as the founder of German Ethnology and who insisted on collecting cultural material from the peoples of Africa and Oceania who he thought would soon disappear due to contact with European civilization. (2) According to the catalogue of the exhibition, several German museums lent their Benin art works to the exhibition. (3) Alone, the list of German museums holding African cultural objects is impressive and shows the extent to which the former colonial power plundered the colonies for art works.It is not often remembered that the German museums have several art works from Africa and that Germany had been a colonial power on the Continent, having had under its control, Togo, Cameroon, German-East Africa (Tanganyika, Burundi and Ruanda) and German-South-West Africa (Namibia) until the end of the First World War. We leave aside the Brandenburger-Prussian colonies Gross Friederichsburg in Ghana, (1683-1718), Arguin, in Mauritania, (1685-1721). It should also be remembered that colonialist ideology in Germany did not start with Germany’s possession of colonies nor did it end with Germany’s loss of colonies after the First World War.

Many people do not even seem to recall that the infamous imperialist meeting that divided Africa among the colonizing powers, the Berlin Conference of 1884, took place in the then and now capital of Germany, Berlin under the chairmanship of Bismarck, the chancellor (“Reichskanzler”). Moreover, German ethnologists and archaeologists had been very active in Africa, the most famous being Leo Frobenius (1873-1938)who collected several thousands of artefacts from the Continent and made a contribution to the Africa collection of the Berlin Ethnologisches Museum. He considered forced labour and corporal punishment in the German colonies as necessary and fair. Leopold Senghor and Aimé Césaire seemed to have derived some inspiration for their negritude from an incomplete reading of his works but a thorough study of his works reveals his deep-seated colonialist and racist views. (4) He was also alleged to have stolen some items and was actually brought to justice. Glenn Penny recounts this story in his book, Objects of Culture: Ethnology and Ethnographic Museums in Imperial Germany:

“During his travels in Nigeria in 1911, Frobenius came into direct conflict with the British authorities concerning his collecting policies in what has come to be known as the Olokun Affair. This incident developed following complaints by the inhabitants of Ife, the sacred capital of the Yoruba country in southern Nigeria that Frobenius had mistreated and deceived them, and had taken away religious objects without their consent. The principal item in dispute was the bronze head of the god Olokun, which Frobenius claimed to have “discovered” in a groove outside the walls of Ife, but which the town’s inhabitants accused him of stealing. As a result of the complaints, which followed Frobenius’s departure from the city British authorities summoned him before an improvised British court and eventually forced him to return many of the items he had acquired from the area”. (5)

When we recall the German colonial rule, a very brutal regime, remembered for its genocide of the Hereros and Namas in South West Africa (now Namibia), as revenge for the killing of some German settlers who had seized their land and were dominating, we may assume that the life of the Africans was not an easy one and that many of the art objects in German museums were obtained through coercion or intimidation even if presented as purchases or gifts. It should also be recalled that the colonial State was no “Rechtsstaat”. (6) Outright force was of course not excluded beatings and caning were widespread, many times exercised by the employer for absenteeism from work and the death sentence was more often enforced in the colonies than in Germany itself. It is quite clear that the structural violence of the colonial situation and the frequent actual use of force by German colonial administrators and the German settlers made Africans amenable to parting with the objects the Europeans wanted. If the present German museum directors are not conscious of this, others in the colonies did not fail to notice this, Cornelia Essner has remarked:

“That the acquisition of ethnografica in the colonial time was on the basis of more or less “structural violence” will not be pursued in detail in this context. Some individual contemporaries were perfectly aware of this fact. Thus one Africa-traveller and resident of the German Empire in Ruanda, Richard Kandt, wrote in 1897 to Felix von Luschan, Deputy Director of the Ethnology Museum, Berlin, as follows: “It is especially difficult to procure an object without at least employing some force. I believe that half of your museum consists of stolen objects.” (7)

For further reading the full 45 pp article by Kwame Opoku [k.opoku@sil.at], including photographs, is available at:

http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/benin_to_berlin.pdf

January 19th, 2008

Posted In: articles, Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects, looting and illegal art traffickers

Borrelpraat van Minister Herfkens

(zie ook verwikkelingen rondom Herfkens als VN medewerker in New York aan het einde van dit artikel)

Bij het Algemeen Overleg Buitenlandse Zaken, met name Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, sneed kamerlid Sharon Dijksma (PvdA) de problematiek in West Afrika rondom de roof van cultuurgoed aan en vroeg minister Herfkens of de regering plannen heeft het sedert 1996 bij de PvdA levende verzoek de Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Objects (1995) te ratificeren in te willigen. (more…)

January 17th, 2008

Posted In: conventies

 

17/01/2008 – 08:10

Borrelpraat van Minister Herfkens

(zie ook verwikkelingen rondom Herfkens als VN medewerker in New York aan het einde van dit artikel)

Bij het Algemeen Overleg Buitenlandse Zaken, met name Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, sneed kamerlid Sharon Dijksma (PvdA) de problematiek in West Afrika rondom de roof van cultuurgoed aan en vroeg minister Herfkens of de regering plannen heeft het sedert 1996 bij de PvdA levende verzoek de Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Objects (1995) te ratificeren in te willigen.
Het antwoord van de zeer slecht geïnformeerde Minister Herfkens oversteeg niet de gebruikelijke borrelpraat van sommige kunsthandelaren en verzamelaars. Volgens Herfkens is het in vele gevallen juist goed dat culturele objecten tijdelijk “elders worden geparkeerd” en hadden de “Engelsen destijds gelijk” toen ze de marmeren beelden van het Parthenon verwijderden en naar Engeland vervoerden.
Wat bedoelde de minister hier? Valt de door Lord Elgin gepleegde roof van deze beelden onder de noemer “tijdelijk parkeren” en ondersteunt ze nu de gerechtvaardigde terugkeer van de beelden naar Athene? Of probeerde ze Sharon Dijksma duidelijk te maken dat er rechtvaardiging bestaat voor het tegen de wil van de bronlanden in verwijderen van cultuurgoed omdat dit elders beter bewaard kan worden? Als dit de redeneertrant is van deze slecht geinformeerde Minister, dan houdt dat automatisch in dat alle kinderen uit West Afrika “tijdelijk geparkeerd” moeten worden in Europa omdat er hier betere onderwijsmogelijkheden zijn, en moet de hele Afrikaanse gezondheidszorg, totdat de patiënten hersteld zijn, tijdelijk worden verplaatst naar de westerse wereld.

“Nadeel van internationale verdragen is dat iedere idioot zich dan kan melden met het verzoek om teruggave van cultuurgoed”. Afgezien van het weinig parlementaire taalgebruik liet Minister Herfkens ook hier weer blijken van de hoed noch de rand te weten. Ratificatie van het Unidroit verdrag heeft namelijk geen terugwerkende kracht en kan slechts een ondersteuning zijn in de strijd tegen de nu nog dagelijkse roof van cultuurgoed uit Afrika, Midden en Zuid Amerika en Azië.
Nederland heeft noch de publiekrechtelijke Unesco Conventie ter bestrijding van de illegale handel in cultuurgoed (1970), noch het Unidroit Verdrag geratificeerd. Daarnaast werd onlangs bekend gemaakt dat de afdeling Kunst en Antiek van het CRI per 1 januari a.s. wordt opgeheven. Reeds lang is bekend dat Nederland een prominente rol speelt bij de handel in drugs. Meer dan eens is aangetoond dat er vaak een directe relatie bestaat tussen de illegale handel in cultuurgoed en de handel in drugs. Het is stuitend dat een minister uit het land dat er al jaren prat op gaat de mondiaal belangrijkste kunst- en antiekbeurs (de TEFAF in Maastricht) te organiseren zich zo afwijzend opstelt tegen ratificatie van internationale verdragen ter bestrijding van de illegale handel in kunst.

Is het misschien zo dat die heel belangrijke kunst- en antiekbeurs juist in Nederland plaats vindt dankzij de gerieflijke bescherming van ontbrekende ratificatie?

Ton Cremers
Museum Security Network
winter 2001

17 januari 2008 , De Volkskrant, pag. 3
PvdA-fractie is
Herfkens beu
Van onze verslaggeefster
Maartje van Hoek
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
◗ Kamerleden storen zich aan ‘d i v a g e d ra g ’ van partijgenote.
◗ Huursubsidie zonder speciaal verlof is ‘tegen de regels’ volgens Herfkens’ baas bij de VN.
DEN HAAG PvdA-Kamerleden vinden dat Eveline Herfkens de PvdA heeft beschadigd door haar uitspraken
over haar luxe leven in New York. Ze laten hun partijgenoot Herfkens vallen omdat ze 280.000 euro huursubsidie ontving
van de Nederlandse overheid – naast haar salaris van VN-organisatie UNDP – en daarover zei: ‘Anders zit ik op een eenkamerflat
met uitzicht op een bakstenen muur.’

‘Hier spreekt een soort verwendheid uit die niet past bij de PvdA. Als je links bent mag je best van luxe houden, maar zeg niet dat je het volste recht hebt op een penthouse’, reageert Kamerlid Martijn van Dam. Ook Staf Depla is verbaasd over
de uitlatingen van de ex-minister voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking. ‘Ze zet zich in voor de armsten der aarde, dus laat ze me dan niet lastigvallen met divagedrag.’ Volgens Depla heeft Herfkens met haar uitspraken het beeld dat de Nederlandse bevolking heeft van de politiek bevestigd. ‘Zo van: wij weten wat goed is voor de wereld.’
Depla is medeschrijver van de gedragscode die geldt voor PvdA’ers in bestuursfuncties. Volgens Hans Spekman moeten ook gewone leden zich eraan houden. ‘Ik zou er niet om treuren als ze uit de partij wordt gezet’, zegt Spekman. Dat kan echter niet, want Herfkens zit niet namens de PvdA in New York en is ‘slechts lid, zoals nog 65 duizend PvdA’ers’.
Diederik Samsom zegt Herfkens een brief te hebben geschreven waarin hij zich ‘niet genuanceerd’ uitlaat over de situatie. ‘Ze realiseert zich onvoldoende hoe voorzichtig ze moet omgaan met publiek geld. Ze doet belangrijk werk, maar aan de uitspraak dat ze het te druk heeft om naar de regels te kijken, stoor ik me enorm.’ Kemal Dervis, Herfkens’ hoogste
baas bij het ontwikkelingsprogramma van de VN, liet zich gisteren voor het eerst uit over de zaak. ‘Het had niet mogen gebeuren’, zei hij in New York. ‘Het is duidelijk dat zonder speciale toestemming het aanvaarden van een huizensubsidie
terwijl je op een stafcontract werkt tegen de regels is.’ Dervis zei dat hij niet gelooft dat Herfkens zich bewust was van de
interne VN-regels die ze doorbrak.

 

January 17th, 2008

Posted In: Geen categorie

Tags: , , , ,

The conference program will provide an in-depth review of fire suppression systems appropriate for the protection of archives and other cultural property. There will be an examination of what had been utilized in the past and what modern systems are being used effectively.

The program will also feature insights as to what fire suppression technologies might be utilized in the future and how cultural institutions might adapt in an environment of shrinking budgets but increasing volumes of holdings needing to be safeguarded. The program will specifically acknowledge recent advances in specific fire suppression systems that are applicable to confined spaces (records vaults, high bay storage), vulnerable materials (artifacts), and possibly electronic equipment (data repositories). It will also address the impact these suppression systems have on the natural environment within the context of the Kyoto Protocol and other policies adopted in response to the threat of global warming. We expect to have an audience of archivists, librarians, conservators, preservation specialists, facility managers, architects and engineers, and curators of museums and historic properties. The program will enable attendees to be exposed to new information about modern, emerging technologies to protect their collections against fire loss or damage.

Our intent is for attendees to leave the conference with an understanding of what the appropriate choices are for their institution and why the layout of building spaces, the configuration of shelving and storage units, and the nature of the materials to be protected all must be taken into account when designing and procuring a fire suppression system.

The Speaker’s Program shall include:

Fire Protection:  An Historical Overview J. Andrew Wilson Associate Director for Fire Protection and Safety Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC

New Fire Suppression Technologies

Nick Artim

Director of Fire Safety Network

Middlebury, Vermont

Risk Assessment for Cultural Institutions:  Fire Testing vs. Computer Modeling Frederick W. Mowrer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor- Department of Fire Protection Engineering University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

   

Low Oxygen Fire Suppression at the British Library Julian Taylor British Library London, England

Fire Protection and Cultural Property – Preservation Issues and Concerns Catherine Nicholson Supervisory Conservator, NARA

Approaches to Fire Suppression in NARA Facilities Ron Noll Chief of the Real Property Division, NARA

Why Williamsburg Went Wet Pipe

Patricia Silence

Conservator of Exhibits

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Williamsburg, Virginia

Update: R&D Project for Fire Protection in High Density Storage Facilities Roberta Pilette Yale University Libraries New Haven, CT

Fire Suppression in the Capitol Visitors Center Exhibit Gallery Martha C. Sewell Exhibition Project Director The Capitol Visitors Center Washington, DC

Fire Protection for the Rare Collections Library Cornelius Rusnov Project Coordinator The State Library of Pennsylvania

This program is subject to change.

The registration fee is $125.00 for standard and $75.00 for student.

This fee includes a box lunch and all food and beverages served during breaks. The doors to the National Archives Building – Constitution Avenue entrance – will open at 8:00am. The program begins at 8:45am and lasts until 5:15pm. There is no on-site parking.

A flyer that includes a registration form in Acrobat (.pdf) has been attached for your convenience. Please fill out, enclose payment and send by mail to the address listed. Please check our conference website at http://www.archives.gov/preservation/conferences/2008/ for updates.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Sincerely,

Richard Schneider

Preservation Conference Coordinator

301-837-3617

   

January 16th, 2008

Posted In: Mailing list reports, sprinklers

Tags: ,

The Public Relation Officer of the BYC, Mr Aigbe Osakhue in a statement recalled that a socio-cultural group in the state, the Benin National Congress (BNC) had earlier petitioned the House of Representatives on the issue, but because the authorities of the museum had alleged refused to offer useful information that would assist in the investigation, the lawmakers have been unable to do much. (more…)

January 14th, 2008

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

Tags:

January 11, 2008. Inside Art. Ciao to a Met Prize Returning to Italy. By CAROL VOGEL The Met bought the krater in 1972 for $1 million from Robert Hecht, an antiquities dealer who is now on trial in Rome on charges of conspiring to traffic in looted artifacts. (Mr. Hecht denies the charges.) (more…)

January 11th, 2008

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

Tags:

Met’s de Montebello called ‘leading museum director of our time’

By any measure, it’s an extraordinary career _ three decades as head of one of the world’s preeminent art institutions. (more…)

January 10th, 2008

Posted In: Mailing list reports

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Le président de la Confédération Pascal Couchepin et le ministre égyptien de la Culture Farouk Hosni ont signé au Caire une déclaration d’intention allant dans ce sens. L’accord lui-même sera paraphé lors du prochain Salon du livre de Genève en avril, a dit M. Hosni à la presse après son entrevue avec le ministre suisse. (more…)

January 9th, 2008

Posted In: Mailing list reports

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This was not your standard art theft. There was no break-in, no guards tied to a chair, no high speed chases and no laser beams from the ceiling. What Brigham Young University Museum had to contend with was a Collections Manager who decided to help himself to hundreds of paintings that were part of the museum’s collection. It started some time in the early 1970’s and continued surreptiously over a period of fifteen years until the Collections Manager was caught and prosecuted in 1987.

The missing works were registered with The International Foundation for Art Research and transferred to The Art Loss Register when the ALR was formed in the U.K. in 1991. With the help of The Art Loss Register, the museum hopes it will recover much of the missing artwork.

Recently, Mahonri Young’s Port Washington Point, Long Island, NY was located by the ALR in their routine search of Christie’s auction catalogs. The ALR searches auction houses, dealers, museums, and on-line auctions for stolen or missing artwork and objects.

The Young painting was matched by the ALR team as one of the stolen BYU pictures and the recovery process was underway. Christie’s cooperated with the ALR and pulled the piece from the sale. As is often the case, Christie’s consignor turned out to be a good faith purchaser (from Boca Raton, Florida) who was simply selling part of her collection to make room for some new acquisitions. She had purchased the piece from a dealer many years earlier.

The consignor was made aware of US law and came to understand that even though she purchased the painting in good faith, she did not necessarily have good title. After extensive negotiations with The Art Loss Register’s New York recovery specialist, the work was returned to Brigham Young University after a 30 year absence. The ALR was able to get the consignor back her purchase price which helped to make up for the loss of the picture.

Chris Marinello, the Executive Director and General Counsel in the ALR’s New York office did much of the recovery work. “We could not have accomplished this without the fantastic efforts of the BYU University police department. Thirty years after the theft and they still had detailed records and recollections that helped to resolve this matter”.

Marinello says that this case shows the strength of the ALR database. “It doesn’t matter if you were a recent victim of art theft or whether it happened fifty years ago. The key is to contact the ALR and get your item registered so we have a chance to find it. “Our art recovery service can save potential claimants thousands of dollars in legal fees”. “I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people give more money to their lawyers than the value of their artwork”.

Museums, dealers, and collectors alike can register stolen items with The Art Loss Register using their new web based platform at www.artloss.com.

The Art Loss Register maintains offices in London, New York, Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris and New Delhi.

January 9th, 2008

Posted In: the Art Loss Register

Steve Douglas, foreman with Jayhawk Fire Sprinkler Co. in Topeka, installs water pipe lines Tuesday in the attic of Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass. The museum is in the process of installing a new sprinkler system inside the museum. (more…)

January 9th, 2008

Posted In: Mailing list reports, sprinklers

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