NEW YORK: Second seizure at Royal-Athena Galleries

royal-athena-feb-2017-1 Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis identified recently another antiquity likely of illicit origin at the Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, on February 17, 2017. Royal-Athena Galleries is the same New York gallery recently in the news about an illicitly trafficked sarcophagus fragment. The provenance and sales details listed for the amphora recently seized was stated on the gallery’s web page as follows (see image on the right):
Attic Red-Figure Nolan Amphora
By the Harrow Painter
Ex C.H. collection, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Exhibited: Yale University Art Museum, 2003-2015.
Price: P.O.R.  (Price on Request)

However, the same red-figure attic vase appears also in three images from the G. Becchina archive (image below), which was not mentioned by Royal Athena Galleries. A handwritten note by G. Becchina himself testifies that he had knowledge of the amphora’s existance at least as far back as February 28, 1994. He required the amphora on March 15, 1994, and paid for it April 11, 1994.

In Becchina’s records, the amphora appears together with another amphora, which is not depicted here, since it is still in circulation/on the market. It seems as if both objects can be traced back to the looter or middleman trafficker ‘Robertino’; maybe they derive even from the same Etruscan tomb.

Since the country of origin (or the country where the illegal excavation took place) of the amphora is most likely Italy, the amphora should be repatriated to the Italian authorities.

It is not the first time that Royal Athena Galleries and its owner, Jerome Eisenberg, are caught to sell or pass through illicit art and antiquities:


One thought on “NEW YORK: Second seizure at Royal-Athena Galleries

  1. Pingback: ITALY/New York: stolen vessel turns back home | EAA-Committee on the Illicit Trade in Cultural Material

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