Looted antiquities allegedly on sale at London Frieze Masters art fair

Howard Swains Howard Swains for the Guardian, October 22, 2017. Ancient Greek vases identified as having once been in possession of convicted dealer Gianfranco Becchina. In January 2015, the art squad of the Italian carabinieri hosted a press conference in Rome at which they proudly displayed more than 5,000 illicit antiquities, with an estimated value…

AUSTRIA: Grabungsgenehmigungspflicht in Österreich durch Gerichte weitgehend gekippt

Aus dem DGUF-Newsletter vom 13. Oktober 2017: Der seit Jahrzehnten vertretenen Rechtsauffassung des österreichischen Bundesdenkmalamtes (BDA) zufolge galt gemäß § 11 Abs. 1 des Denkmalschutzgesetzes (DMSG) in Österreich eine Genehmigungspflicht für Grabungen und sonstige archäologische Nachforschungen (NFG-Pflicht) – unabhängig davon, ob auf einer konkret betroffenen Fläche das Vorkommen archäologischer Denkmale bereits bekannt ist (BDA 2016,…

ITALY: 200 ancient objects revocered in Grosseto

Four antiquities collectors in Grosseto stand accused of illicit detention and possession of property belonging to the state after officers from Italy’s Guardia di Finanza seized more than 200 undocumented ancient objects uncovered during asset controls in the garden of a villa.  The search and seizure warrant was issued by the Public Prosecutor of Rome.  Some…

How researchers can stop the plundering of cultural treasures

Illicit trade in cultural artefacts destroys historical knowledge and finances terrorism. “Professionals have to say no to authenticating cultural artefacts of questionable or dubious ownership history,” says researcher Josephine Munch Rasmussen. “Here is the artefact.” Håkon Roland from the Museum of Cultural History carefully presents a sword that is several thousand years old. It is…

London, UK: the world’s largest hoard of looted antiquities

The ARCA blog obtained the permission of London journalist Howard Swains to republish his Medium article, London’s Loot: The Legacy of Robin Symes, in its entirety. Swains is a journalist and feature writer with experience across print and digital titles, including The Times, the Guardian, Independent, Newsweek, the Sunday Times Magazine and CNN. The article discusses in detail…