Facebook shut down 49 groups being used by looters to sell stolen ancient artifacts

From BBC News, written by Steve Swann, investigating reporter, May 2, 2019 Steve Swann Investigations reporter Steve Swann Investigations reporter Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned. Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics. Facebook says…

DENMARK, Aarhus: Interview with Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis (in italian)

Edek Osser, da Il Giornale dell’Arte numero 391, novembre 2018 Aarhus (Danimarca). Si chiama Christos Tsirogiannis, è un archeologo e storico dell’arte greco di 45 anni, laureato ad Atene e con un dottorato in Archeologia forense a Cambridge. Oggi insegna all’Università di Aarhus, in Danimarca. È un cacciatore di tesori archeologici illegali. La sua arma…

Looted antiquities at fairs: who’s to blame?

From the Observer, by Noah Charney, November 7, 2018 It is unfortunately a well-known fact that the art trade has occasionally been infiltrated by unscrupulous characters—art forgers, flippers and thieves are among the first to come to mind. In modern art history, the cases of outright art theft are rare and newsworthy. But in the…

ITALY: return of stolen antiquities with tougher law

From Montreal Gazette, November 4, 2018 Italy’s populist government is to introduce tough new penalties for art and antiquities crimes as it aims to crack down on cultural theft as part of its nationalist agenda. The announcement comes after several high-profile restitutions of antiquities taken to London and New York and recovered only after being…

Looting and Laundering Art, Antiquities, and Financial Crimes

From The Antiquities Coalition, November 5, 2018. The Illicit Art Trade From plundering during the Crusades to Napoleon’s loot of Egypt, antiquities have long been symbols of worldliness and status. In today’s world, antiquities have become go-to investments for art consumers and market speculators. However, individuals with certain statuses, including those blacklisted and on sanctions…

TURKEY: Istanbul police carry out largest-ever stolen artifact seizure

From DAILY SABAH, published October 19, 2018. The Istanbul Police Department’s Anti-Smuggling Crime Branch teams carried out the biggest seizure of historical artifacts in the history of the republic, with raids across 12 Turkish provinces, recovering 14,000 historical pieces and bags full of foreign currency as well as Turkish lira. The operation was carried out…

ITALY: Court of Palermo dismisses charges of mafia association against Gianfranco Becchina.

From the art-crime.blogspot.com; published October 24, 2018. Following a formal request by the Deputy Prosecutor for the District Anti-Mafia Directorate  Carlo Marzella, preliminary reexamination judge of of the Court of Palermo, Antonella Consiglio, has dismissed the charge of mafia association against the Castelvetrano antiquities dealer Gianfranco Becchina.  In her decision, the judge cited that the accusations used for the…