With regard to my last post, I am hearing unconfirmed reports from Polish colleagues this evening that suggest there has already been some archaeological looting in the Luxor region, so far I’ve only got this at second hand, but tomorrow hope to contact the Polish Mission and will try to find out more.

Meanwhile there are alarming accounts appearing in the press about looting of sites, such as this from Discovery News which at the beginning however gives some reassuring news:

The West Bank, where the mortuary temples and the Valley of the Kings are located, is without any security, with only villagers trying to protect the sites. “All the antiquities in the area have been protected by the locals all night, and nothing has been touched,” Mostafa Wazery, director of the Valley of Kings at Luxor, said.

leaving aside that this is not his title, there is now no village in the necropolis, the locals have been resettled in the past two years. There are still houses down the south end, towards the Valley of Queens and Medinet Habu – so where the tourist police post is. Note the same theme as the human chain around the museum story, locals coming together to defend their past. It may be more complex than that.

more:

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Egypt: Archaeological Looting Already Under Way.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)

I raised a few questions related to what could have been done to better protect the Egyptian Museum in comments on Larry Rothfield’s blog, The Punching Bag. He has promptly responded with the following:
So, what alternative steps could have been taken? Here are a few, for starters:
a) the tourism police, who apparently were the forces available to Hawass, should have been deployed in greater numbers. Of course, if the number of looters attacking the museum is in the hundreds or thousands, antiquities police cannot be expected to hold the fort, but in this case the number of looters was small and could have been fended off if all the entrypoints had been covered, it seems.
b) citizens should have been organized in advance into a “Protectors of the Museum” or some such civil-society disaster-assistance group like the Blue Shields. My information may be wrong, but what I have heard is that Egypt has no Blue Shield, and nothing like SAFE. Given Hawass’ celebrity it would have been a snap to organize such a group, which would have arrived earlier and had a stronger plan for stopping looters than the deeply moving ad hoc human chain did.
c) the museum should have had a standing arrangement with the Egyptian army to have forces deploy immediately upon request.
I question whether or not Hawass has that much control over the tourism police. Clearly, the police should have been deployed sooner, so if Hawass had total control, then why weren’t they? The situation in Egypt deteriorated so quickly that it was likely difficult for the cultural officials to develop contingency plans to prevent the looting of its institutions. Evidently, the security of Cairo’s cultural institutions took a backseat to the more critical public safety and the maintenance of fundamental law and order. In light of the chaos and confusion, it also appears as if most citizens (except for the estimated thousand who formed a human chain around the Egyptian Museum) were concerned for the safety and security of their residences. Today, the Financial Times reported that over the weekend citizens across Cairo organized themselves into “self-protection groups” to fend off gangs of looters.

more:

Art Theft Central: Opinions on the Egyptian Museum’s Security Protocols.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Cultural Heritage Lawyer, Rick St. Hilaire: Archaeoligcal Looting Crisis in Egypt.

Sarah H. Parcak, Assistant Professor at the Department of History and Anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham reports a crisis brewing at major archaeological sites in Egypt. The United States government and others must keep a careful watch at their borders for any ancient Egyptian artifacts. Professor Parcak’s email appears below:

“Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and night everywhere”

The damage is *vast*.

It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of the robbing. SCA representatives are only today able to check on the museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting. If you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on “high alert” for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide. Egyptian looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use the general confusion to get things out of the country.

Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria Museum—but those reports are hard to confirm. The violence has been worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.”

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Amarna Princess to keep an April date at Bolton Museum (From The Bolton News).

A DATE has been set for the return to Bolton of the infamous fake statue that fooled the art world.

The Amarna Princess will go on display at Bolton Museum on April 15 as part of an extensive and successful Fakes and Forgeries exhibition.

The exhibition will be free and will open to the public the following day.

But people will be able to enjoy a sneak preview on April 15 when an expert from the Metropolitan Police’s art and antiques unit will give a talk about the world of art forgery The Amarna Princess is the work of forger Shaun Greenhalgh, who created the fake ancient Egyptian statue in his garden shed in Bromley Cross.

Greenhalgh was jailed for four years in 2007 and was released from prison last year. Bolton Museum paid £440,000 for the statue after experts at the British Museum and Christie’s verified it as genuine and it was displayed in the town for two years.

The Bolton News revealed last year that the town was to be the first in the UK to host the display, following a hugely successful three-month run at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Greenhalgh’s work and criminal history are central to the exhibition, which also has a mock-up of his shed workshop.

Its arrival in Bolton follows months of negotiations between Bolton Council and the Metropolitan Police, which now owns the exhibits after they were seized as part of the criminal investigation.

Other work by Greenhalgh will be on display, including the Risley Park Lanx, the Barbara Hepworth Goose and a number of Thomas Moran paintings.

Det Con Ian Lawson, from the Metropolitan Police’s art and antiques unit, who will give the forgery talk in the museum’s lecture theatre, said: “Educating the public on how to avoid becoming a victim of art crime is a vitally important part of crime prevention.

“The Fakes and Forgeries exhibition was incredibly well received in London, so we are pleased to be able to bring it, with the Greenhalgh exhibits, back to Bolton.”

Cllr Elaine Sherrington, the council’s executive member for adult and community services, added: “We believe an informative talk about the reasoning behind the exhibition will reiterate the point that forgery is a very serious crime.

“It can affect people from all walks of life—not just art collectors and major organisations.”

The talk runs from 7pm to 8pm on Friday, April 15.

Tickets are £5 and include a preview of the exhibition from 6pm.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Contact The Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

Wieder einmal fordert Ägypten vehement die Rückgabe der Büste der Nofretete, die im Neuen Museum in Berlin ausgestellt ist. Das Ansinnen wurde prompt abgeschmettert. Schließlich sei ja kein Kunstraub begangen worden. Dabei gibt es Grauzonen, doch manche Räubereien sind eindeutig dreist.

Zum Beispiel: Napoleon Bonaparte wollte Paris zu dem gestalten, was einst das antike Rom war: Eine Ansammlung der prächtigsten Bauten und Kunstwerke. Der Reformer, gewalttobende Feldherr und spätere Kaiser bediente sich deshalb sehr ungeniert bei seinen Feldzügen zu den erschrockenen Nachbarn, aber beispielsweise ebenso in Ägypten oder Malta. Bibliotheken wurden geplündert, Galerien ausgeräumt, auch in Wien,

Über die französischen Beschlagnahmungs-Kampagnen von 1794 schrieb der Kunsthistoriker Ernst Steinmann: „Es ist nicht auszudrücken, wie Unwissenheit und Barbarei in Belgien gegen die Meisterwerke der Malerei gewütet haben … Als bestimmt wurde, die Meisterwerke Belgiens nach Paris zu schaffen, wurde Befehl gegeben, die Bilder abzunehmen und einzupacken. Was taten die Barbaren, die diesen Auftrag auszuführen hatten? Sie lehnten eine Leiter an das Bild und schnitten es mit ihren Säbeln und Messern in Streifen … Mehrere Gemälde von Rubens sind so behandelt worden.“

more:

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » NEFERTITI – Kunst des Raubens und Bewahrens.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

Roma, recuperate 18 delle 25 statue di Nena rubate in museo – Cronaca – Virgilio Notizie.

Trovate a casa di 32enne siciliano, denunciato: si cercano ladri
postato 1 giorno fa da TMNewsFacebookTwitterWindows LiveStampa
Recuperate a Roma dagli agenti della squadra mobile 18 delle 25 statue dello scultore Alfiero Nena rubate dal museo Fidia in via del Frantoio lo scorso 24 gennaio. Le sculture sono state trovate in una piccola abitazione fatiscente di un 32enne di origine siciliana, situata a poca distanza dal museo. L’uomo, che non ha saputo fornire spiegazioni agli investigatori circa la provenienza delle statue e che ha riferito di averle trovate in un giardino vicino all’abitazione, è stato denunciato per ricettazione di opere d’arte. Lo scorso 24 gennaio lo scultore Alfiero Nena, entrando nel museo di via del Frantoio, nel quale erano esposte alcune delle sue sculture, aveva notato la grata di una finestra divelta. L’artista aveva così scoperto che nella notte dal museo erano state sottratte 25 sue opere, per un valore di oltre 120.000 euro. Altre sculture, che i ladri non erano riusciti a portar via, erano invece rimaste danneggiate e lasciate nel museo. Entrando nell’abitazione del siciliano gli investigatori hanno notato che sotto un tavolo c’erano alcune sculture in metallo, delle quali la convivente del 32enne non ha saputo dare spiegazioni, riferendo di averle trovate al rientro a casa. In particolare tre statue sono state trovate nel prato, da dove verosimilmente non erano state spostate per il peso. Continuano le indagini per risalire agli autori del furto e dei danneggiamenti.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Museo de Agustín Lara se enfrenta a robos e inundaciones.

Debido a las fuertes lluvias acontecidas durante el temporal pasado el patrimonio del museo sufrió daños pero lo más lamentable es el robo de distintas piezas propiedad del museo.

TLACOTALPAN, MÉXICO (28/ENE/2011).- El museo dedicado a Agustín Lara en su patria chica de Tlacotalpan, al sureste de México, resiste a las inundaciones que lo anegaron en septiembre y a los robos de valiosos objetos como la batuta de oro y plata que le regaló Madrid en agradecimiento por el famoso chotis que le dedicó.

Las torrenciales lluvias que amenazaron con borrar el municipio declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad sumergieron hasta cinco metros las instalaciones y tendieron un manto para que los ladrones arrebataran uno de los principales reconocimientos que, en 1954, entregó España a “El Flaco de Oro”, por componer el chotis “Madrid”.

“Se robaron varias cosas, pero realmente lo que me dolió fue la batuta de plata y oro”, lamentó Yolanda Santacruz Gasca “YiYi Gasca”, última esposa del compositor y propietaria del legado del músico que nació y vivió sus primeros seis años en Tlacotalpan.

Arropado por el éxito de la canción que había encargado al compositor mexicano en la década de los 40 y de la no menos conocida “Granada”, Francisco Franco le concedió reconocimientos entre los que sobresalieron una casa en la ciudad de la Alhambra y la célebre batuta de oro y plata.

Por tal motivo, su viuda reconoce ahora que el año pasado le produjo un “gran coraje” enterarse de que en Madrid “querían arrebatarle” a Lara la autoría del chotis que lleva el nombre de la capital de España, “con todo lo que él amaba esa tierra”.

La polémica surgió a raíz de un comentario aparecido en el libro “Gran Vía 1910-2010”, publicado por el Consistorio madrileño, en el que los autores barajaban la posibilidad de que el chotis hubiera sido obra del músico madrileño Rafael Oropesa, muerto en México en el exilio a los 53 años.

Poco después, el asunto quedó zanjado al asumir el Ayuntamiento de Madrid la autoría de Lara mediante una campaña que conmemoraba el centenario de la Gran Vía y en la que se reconocía que el músico mexicano fue quien compuso la canción.

La inundación que dejó el río Papaloapan sobre la ciudad natal de Lara, asentada en la costa del Golfo de México, facilitó el acceso a los ladrones a la vieja casona que alberga el museo de donde desaparecieron, además de la batuta, otros objetos como un valioso puñal toledano que utilizaba para abrir la correspondencia y algunas medallas del compositor.

Aunque el inmueble está dañado, la mayoría sus preciadas pertenencias se salvaron de “morir” ahogadas tras las inundaciones. La cama, el piano, objetos personales, las fotografías de familiares y amigos y más de cien cuadros, cartas y poemas de amor dirigidas a “Yiyi” Gasca permanecen inmaculados.

Dentro del inmueble, los viejos acetatos constantemente reproducen los sonidos de las mejores canciones de Lara, como “Madrid”, “María bonita”, “Mujer”, “Noche de ronda”, “Farolito”, “Granada” y, por supuesto, “Veracruz”.

Sus paisanos se sienten orgullosos de hablar de “El Flaco de Oro” y recordar que sus primeros años los pasó en las coloristas calles del pueblo conocido como “La Perla del Papaloapan”, que se levanta majestuoso a las orillas de uno de los ríos más caudalosos del sureste de México.

Una imponente estatua dedicada al compositor se sitúa en pleno centro del poblado como muestra de dicho orgullo.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Vandals ripped the heads off two mummies and tossed relics onto the ground in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, the country’s antiquities chief said Sunday.
But the group of about nine people did not manage to steal anything from the museum’s collection, according to Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The would-be thieves, who broke into the museum Friday around 6 p.m., were arrested and jailed, Hawass said.
The museum has stepped up security and is now guarded by Egypt’s army, he said.
The antiquities chief said 10 small artifacts were also damaged, but can be restored.
The Egyptian Museum is located in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which has been a focal point for anti-government protests.

Vandals rip heads off two mummies in Egyptian Museum – CNN.com.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Egypte: twee mummies in Egyptologisch Museum beschadigd

Bij een poging tot diefstal tijdens de betogingen tegen de regering zijn in het beroemde Egyptologisch Museum in Kaïro twee mummies uit de faraotijd ernstig beschadigd geraakt, zo heeft het hoofd van de Egyptische archeologische vondsten, Zabi Hawass, zondag tegenover het Franse persbureau AFP gezegd.

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Egypte: twee mummies in Egyptologisch Museum beschadigd.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Mona Ethaway, an Egyptian journalist and blogger, has asserted that the damage reported to mummies and artifacts at the Egyptian Museum was the work of “the police and thugs of Hosni Mubarak.” See
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/29/latest-updates-on-protests-in-egypt-2/?scp=1&sq=Egypt%20museum&st=cse

This is not as strange as it sounds. Other reports have it that Government security forces have been vandalizing property in order to justify a crackdown in the eyes of the public. In addition, it has been reported that the police opened up the jails to show the Egyptian public that chaos is the alternative to Mubarak’s rule.

Certainly, the story about the looting of the museum seems a bit odd; it came amid other information that the museum was being protected by protesters and the army.

via Cultural Property Observer: Egyptian Journalist and Blogger Asserts Damage to Museum the Work of Police Thugs.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)

Reports are coming in that attempts are being made to protect monuments all over Egypt in case antiquity looting breaks out. Many news media are mentioning that access to the pyramids is being prevented. I suspect this is not so much to protect the pyramids (and associated mastaba cemetery) as to keep adventurous tourists stuck in Cairo from wandering too far. To get to the pyramids they would have to cross an area where there has been a lot of unrest these past few days, and obviously the more scattered they are, the more difficult they are to protect (and protecting its visitors is one of the things the Egyptians are very serious about). In addition, the mastaba tombs and their reliefs are particularly vulnerable to looting (a la TT 15 Tomb of Tetiki style). Let us not forget that Zahi Hawass has a personal interest in the Giza cemeteries.

more:

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Egypt: Protecting Sites From Looting.

January 30th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

CAIRO Jan 29 (Reuters) – Looters broke into the Egyptian Museum during anti-government protests late on Friday and destroyed two Pharaonic mummies, Egypt’s top archaeologist told state television.

The museum in central Cairo, which has the world’s biggest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, is adjacent to the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party that protesters had earlier set ablaze. Flames were seen still pouring out of the party headquarters early on Saturday.

“I felt deeply sorry today when I came this morning to the Egyptian Museum and found that some had tried to raid the museum by force last night,” Zahi Hawass, chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said on Saturday.

“Egyptian citizens tried to prevent them and were joined by the tourism police, but some (looters) managed to enter from above and they destroyed two of the mummies,” he said.

He added looters had also ransacked the ticket office.

The two-storey museum, built in 1902, houses tens of thousands of objects in its galleries and storerooms, including most of the King Tutankhamen collection. (Reporting by Yasmine Saleh, Writing by Patrick Werr)

via Looters destroy mummies in Egyptian Museum-official | News by Country | Reuters.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Breaking: Images of Egyptian Museum Damage via Al-Jazeera.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

CAÏRO – Plunderaars hebben gisteren twee mummies van enkele duizenden jaren oud vernield in het Egyptisch Museum in Caïro. Dat heeft het hoofd van de Egyptische oudheidkundige dienst, archeoloog Zahi Hawass, zaterdag gezegd tegen de Egyptische staatstelevisie.Het Egyptisch Museum heeft de grootste verzameling voorwerpen uit het Oude Egypte ter wereld. Het staat naast het gebouw van de regerende Nationale Democratische Partij. Dat kantoor werd vrijdag in brand gestoken bij demonstraties tegen president Hosni Mubarak. Zaterdag kwamen nog altijd vlammen uit het gebouw. (ANP/RTR)

more via

‘Plunderaars vernielen mummies in Caïro’ | Ton Cremers, Museumbeveiliging /Museum Security Network.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

CAÏRO – Plunderaars hebben gisteren twee mummies van enkele duizenden jaren oud vernield in het Egyptisch Museum in Caïro. Dat heeft het hoofd van de Egyptische oudheidkundige dienst, archeoloog Zahi Hawass, zaterdag gezegd tegen de Egyptische staatstelevisie.Het Egyptisch Museum heeft de grootste verzameling voorwerpen uit het Oude Egypte ter wereld. Het staat naast het gebouw van de regerende Nationale Democratische Partij. Dat kantoor werd vrijdag in brand gestoken bij demonstraties tegen president Hosni Mubarak. Zaterdag kwamen nog altijd vlammen uit het gebouw. (ANP/RTR)

more via

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » ‘Plunderaars vernielen mummies in Caïro’.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.- Friday, sitting at a Starbucks in Santa Cruz, Dr. Ralph Kennaugh reflected on the past couple of years.

He spoke for the first time to Central Coast News since he says millions of dollars worth of artwork was stolen from the Pebble Beach house he was renting.

Kennaugh and his partner Angelo Amadio have now created a website to display proof of the stolen artwork after the Monterey County Sheriff’s investigators turned the investigation on them.

The two say they need to get the word out to a larger audience around the world and even say they believe some of the pieces have already been sold.

“It’s happened. I’d just like to get the artwork back from the people who took it and I’d like them to be punished for taking it. It’d be nice if someone would do something about the corruption that goes on…yeah that would be nice,” said Kennaugh.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office says they are still investigating the case, and the men are still persuing legal a defamation of character lawsuit against the county.

Art Heist Victims Web site .

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

CAIRO – In de nacht van vrijdag op zaterdag hebben honderden demonstranten een menselijke blokkade gevormd rond het Egyptisch Museum in Caïro, om de duizenden kunstschatten, waaronder het gouden masker van koning Toetanchamon, te beschermen tegen plunderaars. Het leger nam deze taak zaterdag over.

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Betogers beschermen Egyptische kunstschatten.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Government agents raiding alleged Four Corners artifact looters in 2009 set off a sharp backlash among some locals and lawmakers, although prosecutors and judges have since taken criticism for going easy on the defendants.It turns out most Utahns say the government was right to crack down.A new statewide Salt Lake Tribune poll shows nearly two-thirds agree the sweep was justified, while fewer than a quarter say it wasn’t. Nearly half (48 percent) say the probation sentences handed out so far have been fair, but 33 percent would have preferred stiffer punishments.“Ancient artifacts are more for the public to view in a museum instead of selling them for a profit,” said David Johnson, a poll respondent from Kaysville.

more via Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Utahns back crackdown on artifact looting | The Salt Lake Tribune.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Cairo: The Egyptian army secured Cairo’s famed antiquities museum on Saturday, protecting thousands of priceless artifacts, including the gold mask of King Tutankhamun, from looters.

The greatest threat to the Egyptian Museum, which draws millions of tourists a year, first appeared to come from the fire engulfing the ruling party headquarters next door on Friday night, set ablaze by anti-government protesters.

Then dozens of would-be thieves started entering the grounds surrounding the museum, climbing over the metal fence or jumping inside from trees lining the sidewalk outside.

One man pleaded with people outside the museum’s gates on Tahrir Square not to loot the building, shouting at the crowd: “We are not like Baghdad.”

more:

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Egypt’s military secures famed antiquities museum.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Cairo: The Egyptian army secured Cairo’s famed antiquities museum on Saturday, protecting thousands of priceless artifacts, including the gold mask of King Tutankhamun, from looters.

The greatest threat to the Egyptian Museum, which draws millions of tourists a year, first appeared to come from the fire engulfing the ruling party headquarters next door on Friday night, set ablaze by anti-government protesters.

Then dozens of would-be thieves started entering the grounds surrounding the museum, climbing over the metal fence or jumping inside from trees lining the sidewalk outside.

One man pleaded with people outside the museum’s gates on Tahrir Square not to loot the building, shouting at the crowd: “We are not like Baghdad.”

more:

Ton Cremers, museumbeveiliging / Museum Security Network » Blog Archive » Egypt’s military secures famed antiquities museum.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Breaking: Is the Egyptian Museum Under Threat?.

January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

The latest argument for detaining Nefertiti is clear evidence that the holders of the cultural property of others have no valid reason for depriving them of their cultural symbols.

It is established that there is no requirement in Municipal or International law that owners of stolen/looted objects or objects acquired under dubious circumstances must request, formally or informally, for their return before the holders of the objects can return them. It is sufficient that the current holders have been informed of the position of the legitimate owners for them to act. Indeed, United Nations and UNESCO resolutions, international conferences as well as the ICOM (International Council of Museums) Code of Ethics require the holders to take the initiative in negotiations for eventual return. In many cases, only the holders have full knowledge about the location and conditions of the objects. ICOM Code of Ethics provides in its paragraphs 6 as follows:

6.1 Co-operation
Museums should promote the sharing of knowledge, documentation and collections with museums and cultural organisations in the countries and communities of origin. The possibility of developing partnerships with museums in countries or areas that have lost a significant part of their heritage should be explored.

6.2 Return of Cultural Property
Museums should be prepared to initiate dialogues for the return of cultural property to a country or people of origin. This should be undertaken in an impartial manner, based on scientific, professional and humanitarian principles as well as applicable local, national and international legislation, in preference to action at a governmental or political level.

6.3 Restitution of Cultural Property
When a country or people of origin seeks the restitution of an object or specimen that can be demonstrated to have been exported or otherwise transferred in violation of the principles of international and national conventions, and shown to be part of that country’s or people’s cultural or natural heritage, the museum concerned should, if legally free to do so, take prompt and responsible steps to co-operate in its return
.

Read formatted text plus images


January 29th, 2011

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects

Cancellation follows accusations that the object was looted, although no formal claim has been made

more via Benin mask withdrawn from auction | The Art Newspaper.

January 28th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Terug na de beeldenstormdoor

Maarten Jager

LAREN –  „Als je misschien de hele bronzen Poort van de Hel wilt kopen, dan kan dat nog. Hoewel de afmetingen en prijs ongetwijfeld bijna iedereen zullen afschrikken. De Franse staat, eigenaar van het Musée Rodin in Parijs, legde in 1967 vast dat in principe van ieder beeld maar 12 exemplaren mogen worden gegoten. Foto: ANP Foto: ANPDe oplage van een aantal beelden was toen allang ’vol’. Van Rodins De Denker waren in de loop der tijd wel 50 exemplaren gegoten. Na de ’aanslag’ op ons beeld dachten wij even aan een replica, ook hebben wij geprobeerd in de kunsthandel of op een veiling een ander, ouder gietsel van De Denker te kopen. Dat is niet gelukt.’Jan Rudolph de Lorm, directeur van het Singer Museum, verklaart dat „emotionele gronden” uiteindelijk een belangrijke rol speelden om voor restauratie te kiezen van het in 2007 door bronsdieven zwaar beschadigde Larense Denker.

meer via Terug na de beeldenstorm – Lekker even uit! Alle evenementen op Film en Uitgaan van De Telegraaf. [Exposities].

January 28th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal beelden

Jan. 25, 2011 — Talk about revisionist history. Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, Va., has confessed to altering the date on a pardon issued by President Abraham Lincoln, which is currently part of the permanent records collection of the U.S. National Archives.

Patrick Murphy, a soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion, was pardoned by Lincoln on April 14, 1864. Lowry, however, changed the date to read April 14, 1865, the same day that John Wilkes Booth assassinated the 16th president at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

Abe Lincoln Doc Survived Donner Party Ordeal

By altering the date on the document, Lowry made it appear that this pardon was one of the final official acts performed by Lincoln in his duty as president.

Lowry confessed to the alteration after National Archives archivist Trevor Plante reported irregularities in the document. For his actions, Lowry has been permanently banned from the National Archives. In the future, conservators at the National Archives will look into restoring the document to its original date.

Lincoln Pardon Altered to Change History: Big Pic : Discovery News.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

A San Francisco man who allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of artworks from local galleries and stashed them inside his Tenderloin residential hotel room was sentenced to probation Wednesday.

Terry Helbing was arrested on June 1, 2010, after allegedly swiping 40 paintings and prints estimated at $15,000 from the San Francisco Botanical Garden’s horticulture library. Police later found a trove of other artworks inside Helbing’s residence in the 400 block of Ellis Street.

Helbing, 53, had been facing 28 felony counts, but on Jan. 5 in San Francisco Superior Court, he agreed to plead guilty to two counts, burglary and receiving stolen property.

His attorney, Kenneth Quigley, had argued at Helbing’s preliminary court hearing last August that his client had mental health issues and an IQ of 66.

Botanical Garden officials had said at the time of Helbing’s arrest that he frequented the garden often and would attend art exhibition openings there.

more:

San Francisco man receives probation in case of plundered artwork | Bay City News | Crime | San Francisco Examiner.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

TWO white men have been arrested for damaging and stealing the bronze statue of struggle activist Nokuthula Simelane who died at the hands of apartheid security forces in the 1980s

I am very sad and angry. I cannot find peace and closure. I appeal to those responsible for her disappearance to give me her remains – Mother

They were arrested yesterday morning after police found Simelane’s damaged statue in the back of their bakkie shortly after it was reported stolen from the Bethal Cultural Precinct in Mpumalanga.

The statue was erected and unveiled in 2009 to honour Simelane, who was abducted at the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg, in 1983.

She was allegedly killed by apartheid security forces after she entered South Africa from Swaziland.

Simelane had just completed her studies at the University of Swaziland and was back in South Africa to buy shoes for her graduation ceremony when she was captured. She was allegedly tortured to death by Vlakplaas operatives and her remains have not been found.

Captain Leonard Hlathi confirmed the arrest of two men but declined to confirm their race. He said they were arrested at about 2am after police received information that unknown people were tampering with the statue.

more:

2 bust for theft of statue of ‘heroine’ – Sowetan LIVE.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Stolen from an airport more than 22 years ago, a rare First World War painting by a major Canadian Impressionist has resurfaced in Toronto, and detectives are trying to figure out where it has been.

In the spring of 1988, an art dealer in Calgary shipped Château Liévin, a roughly 14-by-17-centimetre oil by James Wilson Morrice, to a dealer in Toronto by airplane. However, the work never arrived, and investigators believe it was lifted at Pearson International Airport.

Last summer, a woman showed up at high-end galleries and auction houses on Hazelton Avenue with the piece, asking for an appraisal. Three of them contacted Lucie Dorais, an Ottawa-based expert on the artist who has compiled a catalogue of his work.

“I recognized it right away from the description,” she said. “For the knowledge of the artist, it’s an important find.”

She used an inscription on the back, scrawled in pencil in the artist’s hand, to confirm that the painting the auction houses had seen was the one that vanished more than two decades earlier.

more:

Purloined Canadian painting surfaces decades after theft – The Globe and Mail.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

TWELLO – Een particulier in de gemeente Voorst stelt 1000 euro beschikbaar voor de gouden tip die leidt tot de oplossing van de recente bronsdiefstallen in de gemeente Voorst. ,,We krijgen in het gemeentehuis veel telefoontjes van inwoners die verontwaardigd zijn over de diefstal van de bronzen beelden.

meer via 1000 Euro voor gouden tip om bronsdiefstallen Voorst op te lossen – Deventer – Regio – Stentor.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan.27), it is timely to report that a small act of justice – 61 years delayed – was carried out this month: A valuable Nazi-looted painting was returned to the grandson of its Jewish owners. Associated Press reports that Rutgers University, after being informed that it was holding a painting seized by the Nazis in Holland in 1940, investigated the claim – and finding it to be valid, returned the valuable piece of art. The painting in question was drawn over five centuries ago, in 1509, and is named

more via Justice is Served: Nazi-Looted Painting Returned to Heir – Jewish World – Israel News – Israel National News.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: WWII


Penacho de Moctezuma, the Quetzal-feather crown of Montezuma, the last Aztec Emperor, in the Völkerkundemuseum, Vienna. Austria.

According to information in the Austrian papers Standard, Kurier, and Kronen Zeitung, Austria seems finally willing to return the Montezuma Crown which Mexico has been claiming for decades without any success. (1) It appears the return will be a temporary loan in exchange for a temporary loan of a gilded carriage used by Emperor Maximilian I in the nineteenth century that is now in the National Museum of Mexico.

We have always been of the view that Austria should return this artefact which means very little to Austria (2) and a lot more to Mexico, the only State that protested against the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. This act alone, in our opinion, should be sufficient ground for returning Montezuma’s crown. But the Austrian authorities, misled by the ideas of the ethnologists, museum directors and the false prophets in the British Museum, Berlin, Chicago and elsewhere, have up to now refused to contemplate the eventuality of returning the crown. (3)

Following the usual tactics of the so-called “universal museums”, British Museum and the Berlin Museums, Austrians have also resorted to the well-known argumentation structure of “shifting arguments”. This is the pattern followed by the British in the cases of the Benin bronzes, the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta stone. The Germans also use this method in the case of the bust of Nefertiti. The opponent is in such cases presented with a whole series of arguments, some serious, others less so, that have the cumulative effect that in the end no one is sure of the real ground for the refusal to loan/return the cultural object except the determination of the present holder not to return the object to its country of origin as required by resolutions of the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Code of Ethics for museums.

Austrians have argued that the Montezuma’s Crown was legally acquired in the 16th century  Europe by the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand II of Austria. What they do not further consider is how the object came to Europe. The Mexicans are of the view that the crown was among the many objects the Spaniards stole from Mexico. Prof. Feest, former Director of the Ethnology Museum, Vienna, has argued that the feather crown may not be able to travel to Mexico, that the crown was never really part of the power symbols of the Mexico rulers but part of the symbols used in ritual ceremonies by priests. The Austrians seem to have learnt from the experience of the British and Germans whereby untrue, unsubstantiated or weak arguments are repeated so often that others, at least their own people, start considering them as solid arguments.

Reports seem to indicate that there has been a qualitative change in the

thinking of the Austrian leadership on this matter which had divided ruling circles in the past. Leading elements in the Social Democratic party had been in favour of return/loan but the Foreign Ministry warned that Mexico might, on loan, declare the crown a “national cultural property and thus hinder its return“ to Austria. Late President Thomas Klestil had been in favour of the return of the crown. Dr.Wolfgang Zinggl, from the Green Party had also been in favour of return in the form of a gift to Mexico.

The remarkable change in Austria’s position in this matter is to be welcomed by all. It is perhaps no accident that this change occurred after change of leadership in the Kunsthistorisches Museum and at the Völkerkunde Museum. We seem to have now a museum leadership more attuned to the ideas of our times which favour, in general, restitution and, contrary to the old guard, is not imbued with the ideology that the Western world has a duty and right to guard cultural property of others. The new leadership does not appear to share the pretentions of some Western museum directors who seek to impose on others a presumptuous universalism that authorizes the domination of the West over Latin America, Africa and Asia. We sense from the new museum leadership a desire to get on well with other peoples through mutually agreed arrangements, thus departing from the old guard that sought to impose its will on others.

But despite the general change, there seems to be a resonance of  the past in the reported statement of the director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum that there has been no “official demand “ from Mexico. It has been demonstrated elsewhere that States that have their cultural artefacts in other States are not required to make an official request before the artefacts can be returned. The holding State could and indeed should initiate the process. (4) For in many cases only the holder knows where the object is and its present condition.

If there has been no demand from Mexico for the Montezuma’s Crown, why were the late President Klestil and many other persons so involved over the last decades with this issue? Why did the issue find its way to the agenda of the Austrian parliament? Why have the former museum directors been at pains to explain that they would not return the artefact? The argument based on the absence of demand, formal or otherwise, is a relict from the old guard at the museums, an inheritance from the British Museum and the Berlin Museums.

This is a strategy to deny, in the face of demands by others, that they have made any requests. It is like the Germans denying that Egyptians have asked for the return of Nefertiti. It is the British denying that Egypt has asked for the return of the Rosetta stone. It is also the denial by the British that Benin (Nigeria) has asked for the return of the Benin bronzes, especially, the hip mask of Queen-Mother Idia. Hopefully, the new museum leadership will quietly abandon this line of argument.

We hope that this gesture by Austria to return the feather crown, if it materializes, would be the beginning of a new policy to return artefacts to their countries of origin as has been demanded by the United Nations, UNESCO and several international conferences as well as by the ICOM Code of Ethics

In this context, we will expect the Austrian authorities to re-examine the issue of the return of the looted Benin bronzes of which there are some 167 in the Völkerkunde Museum, Vienna. Previous directors of this museum, under the influence of the British who were primarily responsible for the initial looting of Benin artefacts after the killing of innocent Benin women and children as well as the burning of Benin City, have refused to consider the question of restitution. Members of the Benin Royal Family have come to Vienna to open a great exhibition on Benin art and have requested the  return of  some of these objects without any success.(5)

Now is the time for Austrians to act in their own sovereign right to change their position regarding an artefact which means a lot to the people of Mexico as evidence of their pre-Columbus civilization but is of little importance for Austrian culture. The vision of the dominating European males, the conquistadores, as masters of the world, has been long abandoned and the principles and practices of artefacts collection must also change accordingly. Ideas of the 19th century cannot continue to dominate museum practices of the 21st century.

Kwame Opoku, 27 January, 2011.

NOTES

1. Der Standard, Montag, 17 Jänner, 2011, Kurier 17 Jänner, 2011, Kronen Zeitung, Sonntag 16 Jänner, 2011, See also, Earth Times,

http://www.earthtimes.org

2. The Völkerkundemuseum, Vienna has since 2004 closed its permanent collections to the public because of renovations, which, I understand, will not be completed before 2013. Members of the public who wish to see Montezuma’s Crown or the Benin bronzes will not be able to do so unless the objects are on show in a special exhibition. It is relevant to note that one of the main arguments used to support the retention of cultural objects of others by the Western museums is that more people see these objects in the museums than in their country of origin. But can this argument apply at all when the collection is closed for a decade?

3. Useful information on the dispute between Mexico and Austria about Montezuma’s Feather Crown which has been going on for decades can be found in:

Ferdinand Anders, The Treasures of Montezuma, Fantasy and Reality, 2001, Museum für Völkerkunde, Vienna;

Anne Dellemann, “Keine bilateralen Probleme – abgesehen von Montezumas Federkrone” http://www.nofretete-geht-auf-reisen.de/penacho.htm

English version, Anne Dellemann “No bilateral problems – except for Montezuma’s crown of feathers”

http://www.culture-and-development.info/issues/penacho.htm

Reportaje en Vienna, Austria -Penacho de Moctezuma http://www.youtubeWien Stephansplatz — Montezuma’s Feathered Crown http://www.flickr.com/photos/dugspr/sets/72157602585580972/

Thomas Black, “Montezuma’s Headdress, in Europe for 500 Years, May Return Home” http://www.bloomberg.com

4. K. Opoku. “Is the Absence of a Formal Demand for Restitution a Ground for Non-Restitution?” http://www.museum-security.org

Montezuma’s Crown on agenda of Austrian Parliament, http://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXII/A/A_00608/index.shtml

5. K. Opoku, “Opening of the Benin Exhibition “Benin-Kings and Rituals, Court Arts from Nigeria”, http://www.culture-and-development.info

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects

TWELLO – Niet alleen de gemeente Voorst, ook verzorgingshuis Het Grotenhuis raakte in het afgelopen weekeinde een bronzen beeld kwijt.Het kunstwerk ‘Meisje en de dans’ werd ontvreemd uit de tuin van het verzorgingshuis aan de Binnenweg in Twello. Het gaat om een kunstwerk van de hand van kunstenaar Theo Schreurs. Het bronzen beeld dat bij de kerk in Terwolde werd gestolen, was van dezelfde kunstenaar. Directeur Gerard Kupers van Het Grotenhuis liet na de diefstal uit voorzorg de andere vier bronzen beelden uit de tuin verwijderen. In de tuin bij Het Grotenhuis stonden zes beelden, vijf in brons en één in steen.

meer via Bronzen beeld weg bij verzorgingshuis Twello – Deventer – Regio – Stentor.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal beelden

Kibbelen om koningin Nefertiti – Wetenschap – Nieuws – Knack.be.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

De onlangs in Breda opgerichte Stichting tot behoud van het 19e- en 20e-eeuwse cultuurgoed Noord-Brabant’ richt zich op bescherming van potentiële monumenten en stadsgezichten. Initiatiefnemer en secretaris is de Bredase jurist Arjan Tiesing, (mede)eigenaar van advocatenkantoor RSA. Opvallend is vooral de naam van de penningmeester: makelaar Richard Schul. Naar een voorzitter wordt trouwens nog uitgezien. Dat zowel het advocatenkantoor als de makelaardij is gevestigd in het 60 jaar oude Fatimacomplex, is geen toeval. Tiesing maakt zich momenteel sterk voor behoud van het complete katholieke bouwblok, inclusief de vroegere kleuterschool aan de Viveslaan, eigendom van Amarant. Die laatste wil gaan slopen voor nieuwbouw en beschikt daartoe al over een gemeentelijke vergunning.

meer via Zorg over erfgoed – Breda – Regio – bndestem.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

(JTA) — A Swiss government report has concluded that the country’s museums should more intensively investigate whether they hold artwork looted during the Nazi era.The report, published this week by the Federal Culture Office, summarizes the results of a survey of 551 Swiss museums on the state of their provenance research, according to the Claims Conference, the main Jewish organization on restitution issues.The Swiss government commissioned the survey in 2008, in advance of the of the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference in Prague. The outcome of the conference is also summarized in the newly released report.The report of the survey’s results found that information and awareness of the issue of Nazi-looted art should be improved in public and private museums; that museums need to intensify provenance research; and that access to the results of provenance research should be simplified.Of the 416 museums that responded to the survey, 25 stated that works in the possession of their institutions may be affected by the issue of Nazi-looted art, while 43 reported that they had undertaken provenance research on works owned by their institutions.Some 108 museums established after 1945 indicated that they have not conducted any provenance research.At the end of the Prague conference, Switzerland was one of 47 countries that signed the Terezin Declaration, which included a commitment to continue working on this issueThe Nazis looted an estimated 650,000 art and religious items from Jews and other victims, according to the Claims Conference.

via Swiss report: Museums should investigate Nazi-era art | JTA – Jewish.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: WWII

SWANSEA, Wales, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — David Gill, archaeologist, reflects on the extension of the memorandum of understanding between the US and Italy.
In 2001 the US and the Republic of Italy made a bilateral agreement that imposed import restrictions on archaeological material derived from Italy. The agreement was renewed in 2006, and in January 2011 the US Department of Homeland Security announced a further five year extension.
In recent years over 120 objects, including the Euphronios krater, have been returned to Italy from major public and private North American collections such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Princeton University Art Museum.

more:

Looting Matters: Decision over MOU with Italy.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)

LAKEN – ‘De Rechtvaardige Rechters’, een paneel van het beroemde schilderij Het Lam Gods, zou verstopt liggen op het kerkhof van Laken. Dat zegt gewezen politiecommissaris Rudy Maes uit Koekelberg, na een jarenlang onderzoek. Rudy Maes was 37jaar politieagent en later politiecommissaris in de gemeente Vorst. Sinds hij 10jaar geleden met pensioen ging, vond hij een nieuwe passie. Hij zoekt onverdroten naar het paneel ‘De Rechtvaardige Rechters’, dat 77 jaar geleden werd gestolen. ‘Dertien jaar geleden kocht ik op een rommelmarkt een boek over de diefstal. Er volgden nog vele boeken en ik raakte gefascineerd door deze mysterieuze zaak.’

meer via Het Nieuwsblad – Gemeente Brussel: Rechtvaardige Rechters mogelijk op kerkhof Laken.

January 27th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Former Museum Director Facing New Charges – WAAYTV.com- Huntsville, Alabama Television – News Weather Sports.

Decatur, AL – New charges have been filed against Laura Harris Phillips, the former director of the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur.

In December, Phillips was accused of theft, after more than $50,000 worth of funds from the Center were found to be missing or misused.

Now, Phillips is accused of misusing $2,500 from the Alabama Museum Association, based in Birmingham. Investigators say that the money was transferred from the AMA account to a business account unrelated to the group.

She’s being held on $5,000 bond.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: insider theft

Art crime seminar to focus on recovery, security, protection.

PHILADELPHIA – For the first time ever Robert Wittman Inc. is offering a five-day seminar to the public that will focus on the practical application of investigative techniques to recover stolen art and cultural property. The seminar will be held June 12-17 at Philadelphia’s downtown Pyramid Club.
This seminar will focuses on real industry career opportunities in the fields of national and international investigation, art law, insurance, appraisal, museum security, conservation and art financial services. Presented by professionals, the emphasis is on practical application in careers in the industry.

The course will feature more than 20 hours of instruction spread across five days. Instructors are renowned in their fields, having won numerous national and international awards. Together they have served for more than half a century on the front lines of art security, protection and recovery.

Participants will stay at the luxurious Crowne Plaza Hotel on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia.

Lecturers will be Robert K. Wittman, Robert E. Goldman, James E. McAndrew and Herb Lottier.

Wittman was the founder and Senior Investigator of the FBI National Art Crime Team and was instrumental in the recovery of more than $300 million worth of stolen cultural property. He spent 20 years as an FBI agent, and upon retiring authored the New York Times Best Seller Priceless – How I went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures. Today, he is the president of the international art security firm Robert Wittman Inc.

Goldman spent 32 years working as a local and federal prosecutor. He prosecuted the first case in the nation under the federal Theft of Major Artwork Statute (18 USC 668) resulting in the first federal convictions under this law. Goldman was appointed by the Department of Justice as the first at large prosecutor in the nation for the FBI Art Crime Team. Today, he is the principle in the law firm of Robert E. Goldman Esq. and practices art law on a private basis.

McAndrew has worked with the U.S. government for more than 27 years, first with the United States Customs Service and then with the Department of Homeland Security. He is an expert on international art and antiquity investigations and on customs and international trade law.

Herb Lottier has been the Director of Protection Services at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the fourth largest art museum in the United States, since 1996. He manages a security force of 175 contract officers and 35 proprietary supervisors. Prior to his current profession, Lottier served for 21 years in the Philadelphia Police Department. For the last six of those years he held the rank of captain.

Seminar subjects include Civil and Criminal Art Law; Case Studies Focusing on Investigation Techniques; International Art Law and Topics; Museum Personnel and Collection Security; Conservation and Forensic Techniques to Identify Frauds, Fakes and Forgeries; Fine Art Insurance and Art Loss Database; Protection and Recovery Careers in the Insurance Industry and Private Sector; Gallery Issues; Antiquities Protection; Auction Protection Issues; and Fine Art Financial Service Careers.

Deadline for application submission, including a nonrefundable $100 application fee, is due no later than April 15. The application fee will be applied to the all-inclusive course cost with the remaining balance of $2,500 due by May 1.

Participants will receive individual attention and training. Class size is limited, and applications will be considered in the order they are submitted.

For additional information contact 610-361-8929, email info@RobertWittmanInc.com or visit their website atwww.robertwittmaninc.com

Read more: http://acn.liveauctioneers.com/index.php/features/shows-events/3888-art-crime-seminar-to-focus-on-recovery-security-protection#ixzz1C9bYvPPs

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Germany says it will not return an ancient bust of Queen Nefertiti to Egypt with the head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, insisting the bust was acquired legally by the Prussian state nearly a century ago.

The 3,300-year-old bust of Pharaoh Akhenaton’s  wife was discovered in 1913 by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt and smuggled out of the country later that same year.

Germany refuses to return Nefertiti bust to Egypt: Voice of Russia.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

GREENBURGH, N.Y.:The town of Greenburgh Police Department is investigating the theft on December 16 of a pair of antique French chandeliers from an antiques restoration shop.According to the police report, both chandeliers had been sent to the store for repair on November 30. The store owner told investigators that he had placed the chandeliers outside on a shelf in the rear of the building along with some other items in need of repair. He then went inside the store for approximately ten minutes to answer a question, and upon his return he noticed the items were missing.

more via Antiques and the Arts Online – Antique French Chandeliers Reported Stolen From Greenburgh, N.Y..

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

One of three statues stolen Saturday, Jan. 22, from Canada Billiards in Laval. The statues, one bronze, one silver and one gold, are estimated to be worth a total of about $10,000. The thief or thieves stole nothing else from the business and Laval police had no suspects as of Tuesday at midday. Photo: Courtesy Laval police
Three statues, about 30 centimetres tall, all signed by hockey legend Maurice Richard, and worth a total of $9,000, were stolen Saturday from Canada Billiard and Bowling in Laval.

The thieves set off the building’s security alarm, Laval police Constable Franco DiGenova said. A window next to the front entrance and a display case were smashed. DiGenova said it’s unlikely anyone could sell the items on the Internet, since they are one of a kind.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Laval police at 450-662-4636.

Police seek info on stolen statues.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: sculpture theft

Luciano Scala, a representative of the Italian ministry of cultural heritage, and the Festari heirs shake hands after an auction to sell the Vasari archive was called off in March

One of the art world’s most gripping and convoluted sagas, involving the Italian government, a mysterious Russian businessman and a Renaissance master, has taken on a new, unexpected turn. The sale of the Arezzo-based archive of Giorgio Vasari (1511-74)—which includes correspondence from five Renaissance popes and the Medici rulers of Florence, as well as 17 letters from Michelangelo—to a Russian buyer appears to be falling apart. The move is the latest twist in a long-running saga that began in September 2009 with the reported sale of the Vasari documents by the then owner of the archive, the late Giovanni Festari, to Vasilij Stepanov, of the Russian firm Ross Engineering, part of the Ross Group, for €150m.
Sale cancelled?
Calling from Moscow, Stepanov has told us that despite the fact that the archive had recently been cleared for sale by an Italian court, the deal was now off. He said he had received information that suggested “that, all along, the Italians had no intention of selling the archive, but planned to coerce the Italian government into paying the contracted price”. He added that he was acting in good faith throughout: “I was offered the archive. The people who brought the deal to me assured me of its viability, as well as the commercial sense of the transaction. So, I considered the archive as an interesting investment opportunity. Again, as soon as I learned about their true intentions, I decided to sever my contacts with them. I consider the deal closed.”
This version of events is disputed by Antonio Capuano, a spokesman for the Festari family who emailed us a statement. He said he “had no evidence that Stepanov had any doubts about the validity and legality of the transaction. The sale procedures were all strictly followed, in accordance with Italian law.” He added: “There has never been any intention to coerce the Italian state. In fact, in September 2010, the Festaris asked the state to give up its right to pre-empt the sale [that is, to buy at the price established by the market] in order to proceed with the contract with the Ross Group.”
more:

The mystery of the Vasari archive sale | The Art Newspaper.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Peine (ots) – Wie bereits berichtet, wurde am 02.12.2010, zwischen 15:30 und 17:15 Uhr, aus dem Kreismuseum Peine das Gemälde “Innere Kraft” entwendet.

Eine Mitarbeiterin hatte gesehen, wie ein Pärchen ein Bild aus der Ausstellung heraus trug. Sie ging davon aus, dass das Bild rechtmäßig erworben wurde. Wie sich später herausstellte, war das ca. 500 Euro teure Gemälde gestohlen worden.

Am 16.12.2010 teilte eine aufmerksame Mitarbeiterin des Kreishauses mit, dass “die Täter” gerade im Kreishaus seien. Als die alarmierten Polizisten im Kreishaus eintrafen, hatten die beiden Verdächtigen die Räumlichkeiten des Kreishauses aber bereits wieder verlassen.

Allerdings konnten die Mitarbeiter den Polizisten zeigen, in welchem “Amt” beide zuvor gewesen waren. So ließen sich recht schnell einer der Namen feststellen. Ermittlungen führten dann zu den beiden Tatverdächtigen. Es handelt sich um zwei libanesische Staatsangehörige, die in Peine wohnen. Der 26-jährige Mann ist bereits einschlägig polizeilich bekannt geworden. Unter anderem wegen Sachbeschädigung, Bedrohung, Schlägerei, Hehlerei, Urkundenfälschung, Raub, Erpressung usw. Seine 22-jährige Lebensgefährtin wurde polizeilich auffällig durch Diebstahl und Urkundenfälschung.

Beide geben an, dass das Bild neben einem überfüllten Mülleimer gestanden habe. Deshalb sei man davon ausgegangen, dass es sich um ein weggeworfenes Bild gehandelt habe.

Mit diesem Fall wird sich demnächst ein Staatsanwalt befassen.

Das Bild ist mittlerweile mit richterlichem Beschluss sichergestellt worden und befindet sich in sicherer “polizeilicher Obhut”.

Die “Innere Kraft” wird in den nächsten Tagen dem Kreismuseum übergeben werden.

Peiner .

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Peine (ots) – Wie bereits berichtet, wurde am 02.12.2010, zwischen 15:30 und 17:15 Uhr, aus dem Kreismuseum Peine das Gemälde “Innere Kraft” entwendet.

Eine Mitarbeiterin hatte gesehen, wie ein Pärchen ein Bild aus der Ausstellung heraus trug. Sie ging davon aus, dass das Bild rechtmäßig erworben wurde. Wie sich später herausstellte, war das ca. 500 Euro teure Gemälde gestohlen worden.

Am 16.12.2010 teilte eine aufmerksame Mitarbeiterin des Kreishauses mit, dass “die Täter” gerade im Kreishaus seien. Als die alarmierten Polizisten im Kreishaus eintrafen, hatten die beiden Verdächtigen die Räumlichkeiten des Kreishauses aber bereits wieder verlassen.

Allerdings konnten die Mitarbeiter den Polizisten zeigen, in welchem “Amt” beide zuvor gewesen waren. So ließen sich recht schnell einer der Namen feststellen. Ermittlungen führten dann zu den beiden Tatverdächtigen. Es handelt sich um zwei libanesische Staatsangehörige, die in Peine wohnen. Der 26-jährige Mann ist bereits einschlägig polizeilich bekannt geworden. Unter anderem wegen Sachbeschädigung, Bedrohung, Schlägerei, Hehlerei, Urkundenfälschung, Raub, Erpressung usw. Seine 22-jährige Lebensgefährtin wurde polizeilich auffällig durch Diebstahl und Urkundenfälschung.

Beide geben an, dass das Bild neben einem überfüllten Mülleimer gestanden habe. Deshalb sei man davon ausgegangen, dass es sich um ein weggeworfenes Bild gehandelt habe.

Mit diesem Fall wird sich demnächst ein Staatsanwalt befassen.

Das Bild ist mittlerweile mit richterlichem Beschluss sichergestellt worden und befindet sich in sicherer “polizeilicher Obhut”.

Die “Innere Kraft” wird in den nächsten Tagen dem Kreismuseum übergeben werden.

Peiner .

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

formatted text plus images via Il Tempo – Roma – Marmi e dipinti rubati Blitz all’asta a Londra.

SHANGHAI Boom di vendite in Cina per le repliche dell’anello di fidanzamento regalato a Londra dal principe William alla promessa sposa Kate Middleton.

Sculture in marmo e quadri d’epoca. Un bottino da 500 mila euro. Sono gli ultimi recuperi d’autore firmati dai carabinieri della Tutela del parimonio artistico. Sono stati illustrati ieri in occasione del bilancio 2010 dell’attività degli specialisti dell’Arma alle prese col mercato criminale legato alle opere d’arte, presentato ieri in via Anicia, a Trastevere, dal comandante, il generale Pasquale Muggeo, alla presenza del sottosegretario ai Beni culturali Francesco Giro. Si tratta di una testa maschile in marmo, rubata il 20 gennaio 2008 nella casa romana di un privato, e di una testa di fauno in marmo, con le fattezze di Pan, proveniente dalla fontana del «Giardino del teatro», di Villa Pamphilj, sottratta dall’Antiquarium del Celio dove era in deposito alla fine degli anni ’70. Entrambe risalgono al I-II secolo Le indagini del reparto operativo del colonnello Raffaele Mancino sono durate circa un anno. Alla fine del 2010 gli investigatori hanno stretto il cerchio e il 28 aprile dell’anno scorso hanno individuato le sculture alla Bonhams di Londra per la vendita all’asta. In collaborazione con i colleghi di Scotland Yard i pezzi sono stati bloccati e recuperati alla fine dell’anno. Oltre ai due reperti, sempre nella Capitale britannica tra gli oggetti in vendita all’asta da Sotheby’s i carabinieri hanno recuperato anche due dipinti a tempera su tela raffiguranti San Sebastiano e Santa Caterina, originarie predelle della pala d’altare della «Natività con Santi» di Bernardino Fungai (1460-1516) rubati da ignoti il 19 gennaio del 1994 dalla cattedrale di San Secondiano di Chiusi.

L’altro colpaccio messo a segno dagli investigatori della Tutela del patrimonio culturale è di qualche giorno fa, coordinata dalla Procura di Santa Maria Capua Vetere, nel Casertano. Meravigliosi crateri a calice e a volute, raffinate kylix, gorgoni, satiri, protomi femminili – un bottino di 633 dal valore di un milione di euro – è stato sotratto a una banda di tombaroli accusata di controllare il saccheggio sistematico dei siti archeologici nella zona a nord ed est della Campania. «Chiediamo maggiori risorse di uomini e di tecnologia per individuare e bloccare quell’attività illecita sommersa che sottrae importanti risorse storiche – commenta il responsabile dei Rapporti istituzionali e coordinatore per il Lazio del Movimento Ecologista europeo Fare Ambiente, Piergiorgio Benvenuti – Potrebbe ridimensionare anche nel Lazio questo fenomeno già dal prossimo anno. Il dato più importante – continua – è quello relativo al trend nazionale dei furti di beni culturali che risulta in diminuzione, scendendo da 882 a 817. Il Lazio – prosegue – si attesta al secondo posto con 127 furti, dieci in meno rispetto al 2009, seguita dalla Lombardia e dalla Toscana. Va espresso un plauso alle forze dell’ordine che hanno effettuato un ingente lavoro di controllo degli esercizi commerciali, mercati e fiere antiquarie, luoghi dove vengono dopo i furti commercializzati i beni archeologici e d’arte trafugati e sia di controlli nelle aree archeologiche ritenute più sensibili».

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Carabinieri: restituiti alla Cattedrale di Chiusi due dipinti di Fungai – – Libero-News.it.

Roma, 24 gen. (Adnkronos) – Tornano nella cattedrale di Chiusi i due dipinti a tempera su tavola rubati nel 1994 e recuperati dai carabinieri per la tutela del patrimonio culturale. ”Sara’ una grande emozione vedere ricomporsi la Nativita’ – rivela all’ADNKRONOS Mons Rodolfo Cetoloni, vescovo di Montepulciano, Chiusi e Pienza – Stiamo lavorando per la maggiore sicurezza delle nostre chiese ma il grande numero degli istituti di culto mette in difficolta’ questo lavoro di ricognizione degli oggetti d’arte presenti in quei luoghi. Abbiamo iniziato con la Cei un inventario delle opere d’arte in modo che i carabinieri per la tutela abbiano il piu’ possibile l’idea di quello che esiste. La sicurezza e’ per noi un grande problema che ci induce a tenere alcuni luoghi di culto chiusi non avendo personale di controllo”.

I due dipinti raffiguranti ”San Sebastiano e santa Caterina”, facenti parte di una serie di sei predelle poste ad ornamento di una pala d’altare, raffigurante la ‘Nativita’ dei Santi’ di Bernardino Fungai (1460-1516) furono asportati da ignoti, segnalati nel febbraio 2008 tra gli oggetti in vendita all’asta Sotheby’s Londra per i quali il nucleo Tpc di Firenze aveva iniziato le prime indagini.

I dipinti tornano in Italia insieme ad altri due pezzi: una testa maschile in marmo, di fattura romana, datata II secolo d.C., rubata a Roma nel 2008 in una abitazione privata, ed una testa di fauno in marmo, datata I-II secolo d.C., raffigurante Pan, proveniente dalla fontana del giardino del teatro nel parco di Villa Doria Pamphili a Roma, rubata negli anni Settanta. L’insieme degli oggetti rimpatriati, tutti di eccezionale rilevanza storico-artistica, hanno un valore patrimoniale complessivo di circa cinquecentomila euro.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

British Museum Evacuated over Chemical Alert | Demotix.com.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

hile many German art museums have well-established provenance research programmes to locate works stolen by the Nazis, institutions rarely reveal how they were entangled with the practice. But a new book by the Frankfurt’s Städel Museum may change this.

more via Museums aim to probe Nazi art seizures – The Local.

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: COLLECTIEHULPVERLENING

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

January 26th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers