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…

Spain: Rare archaeological artefacts seized by police

By Dilip Kuner,October 11, 2018, in Euroweeklynews. Four people have been arrested for allegedly being complicit in the plundering of an archaeological site in Spain. Guardia Civil officers have recovered 92 rare Celtiberian pieces said to be of ‘great historical value’. They have been taken to a museum in Burgos to be studied, restored and…