Tag Archives: antiquities

Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention

Posted on: June 18, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Amidst the sad turmoil (for some) and the uncertainty (for all) brought on by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, it is perhaps more forgivable than usual to miss an important anniversary. I am referring here to the fact that 2020 marks 50 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]

Recent report on the illicit antiquities trade receives mixed response

Posted on: June 10, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

A UNESCO-backed research project into the illicit trade in cultural property in Germany has recently released its final report. The ‘ILLICID Project’, launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aimed to increase understanding of illicit trafficking networks and financial flows linked to organised crime and terrorism. However, the findings of the final […]

Lessons in Collecting from the Museum of the Bible

Posted on: April 14, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

The Museum of the Bible has been a site of continual controversy since its opening in November 2017. The issues it has faced range from alleged thefts and forgeries to the illicit trade in antiquities. More than anything else, the Museum’s difficulties have demonstrated the importance of careful provenance research before acquiring artefacts for a […]

US charges added to dealer Kapoor’s rap sheet

Posted on: November 12, 2019 by Adele Harrison

In the 1891 story A Case of Identity, Sherlock Holmes cracked another mystery in his careful examination of evidence emanating from a typewriter. Now, over 120 years later, investigators in New York  have relied on similar skills to expose one of the largest art looting conspiracies of all time.  It was at the office of […]

The MET in the spotlight again: Due diligence dissected

Posted on: March 20, 2019 by Emily Gould

We reported late last year how busy the New York authorities have been in recent times in seizing and returning looted artefacts. The pattern has continued into the new year, with the widely reported return to the Egyptian Government of a first-century BC gilded coffin, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the centre […]

UK Museums Bid to Save Titanic Artefacts

Posted on: September 26, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

Hedge funds are competing with a consortium of British museums to purchase 5,500 artefacts salvaged from the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 with the loss of 1,500 lives. The current owner of the artefacts, Premier Exhibitions, is selling them after filing for bankruptcy in the United States in 2016.  The […]

Conservation Practice: Visibly Invisible!

Posted on: March 21, 2018 by William Hawkes

An article in The Art Newspaper by Ben Luke on the 15th of March 2018 poses an interesting question regarding the work of the conservator. The article concerned the condition of the painting depicting Christ as Salvator Mundi, by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1500. This article raised the question “Should the […]

Ancient crown to be returned to Turkey in out-of-court settlement

Posted on: December 12, 2017 by Holly Woodhouse

A golden crown dating from the fourth-century BC will be returned to Turkey following an out-of-court settlement between a Turkish national residing in Scotland and the Government of Turkey. The crown, reported to have been valued at £250,000, was in the possession of Edinburgh café owner Murat Aksakalli, who claimed to have inherited it from […]

Commentary on prosecution of UK man for antiquities smuggling

Posted on: August 30, 2017 by IAL Admin

A UK man, Toby Robyns, was apprehended ten days ago by Turkish authorities, as he tried to leave Turkey with a dozen coins. He had found the coins with his children on the seabed while snorkelling. He is still in prison, awaiting a decision by the Turkish courts. Our Assistant Director, Alexander Herman, was interviewed […]

Unreasonable reasons…further thoughts on the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

Posted on: November 5, 2016 by Emily Gould

Following our post earlier this week on the second reading in the House of Commons of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill, we were interested to read an article in The Times the next day by Sir Edward Garnier, QC, MP and former solicitor-general.* Sir Edward had rehearsed, at some length during the Commons debate, the […]