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15033SV: [ANE-2] Licit Antiquities Trade

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  • Niels Peter Lemche
    Jul 16, 2013
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      Dear Trudy,

      When I as a child visited Certosa di Firenze, a major monastery, the monk who showed us the place stopped in front of some empty spaces at the wall: The paintings which belong here you can find at the Louvre, with a precise indication of where in Louvre to find them. It did not begin with the Nazis; it is a very old trade. The people who brought these paintings to the Louvre were French officers from the Napoleonic war. Likewise, British officers of the Peninsula war were famous for looting. As a joke (non-verified) went, they sometime in the middle of the last century opened granddad's coffin in the attic. At the top they found a Rafael. It had to be restored, and the chief conservator came out with his golden hammer, and ... right down through the painting. The chef curator had not done it for many years.

      But the bad ways of yesterday do not endorse modern "practices".

      Niels Peter Lemche

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Trudy Kawami
      Sendt: den 16 juli 2013 17:49
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Emne: RE: [ANE-2] Licit Antiquities Trade

      Actually a museum or collector selling an art work may well be in the same boat as someone selling a looted pot. There are still ongoing issues with museum ownership of Renaissance to 20th century works that found their way into the art market after being seized or coerced from their owners by the Nazis. It is not a simple problem and there are no easy solutions.

      Trudy S. Kawami

      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hall
      Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:12 AM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Licit Antiquities Trade

      There is a need to prevent looting and trafficking in stolen property. An artist or museum selling a painting is not the same as a thief doing an illegal dig and selling the loot to an antiquities dealer. Antiquities dealers may legally obtain artifacts and sell them.

      It is presumed some antiquities thieves dug without the permission of the landowner(s). This is a problem as the individual(s) did not respect the property rights of others. There is also a need to preserve archaeological sites as professional archaeologists may provide more scientific data than a grave robber finding an artifact without providing data about the stratigraphic context or locality where the artifact was found. Archaeological sites have been protected in order to preserve artifacts in the interest of those needing to research historical and cultural identity. In Israel someone may need to get a permit before digging for artifacts and to provide detailed reports of their work in order for scholars to be able to have a chance to study reports of the finds.

      David Q. Hall
      Port Charlotte, FL


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