Friday, September 23, 2016

Spotlight on European collections


Attic black-figured amphora
 from the Schinoussa Archive. Courtesy of Christos Tsirogiannis.
Following the recent return of antiquities from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek to Italy, the spotlight will be on other European collections that contain archaeological material that appears to have been derived from Italy. Among the museums are:
The Italian authorities will no doubt be negotiating with each of these institutions to secure the return of this material.


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Architectural terracottas from Pyrgi

It now appears that some of the architectural terracottas returned from Copenhagen to Italy [press release] were derived from the Etruscan sanctuary site at Pyrgi, the port serving Cerveteri. It is unclear why the museum authorities in Denmark have been so reluctant to disclose a full list of what has been returned. What is becoming clear is that many of the objects were handled by or associated with individuals such as Robert Hecht, Giacomo Medici, and Fritz Bürki.

Other European museums, especially those in Germany, Holland and the UK, need to be looking carefully at objects that were acquired from these same sources.


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Policy on the Presentation and Publication of Ancient Artifacts

I am grateful to a colleague for sending me detail of the Society of Biblical Literature's policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Ancient Artifacts. It is an endorsement of ASOR's Policy on Professional Conduct. There is a pointer to ASOR's Section III.E:
studies of the past are enhanced when an artifact is clearly associated with an intact archaeological context. Artifacts which lack a defined archaeological findspot or provenience have a greater potential to undermine the integrity of archaeological heritage in view of the possibility of admitting suspect artifacts into archaeological heritage. Looting is an illegal act that breaks the association between artifact and context. A looted artifact may be considered stolen property. Therefore, archaeological heritage that is looted is more likely to travel through illicit channels of distribution and/or exportation, which involve processes that may mask or confuse the identification of the artifact or its true findspot.
There is an acknowledgement of the problem of looting and the conditions for the "cuneiform exception" are made clear.

There is a deliberate recognition that there are intellectual consequences of publishing (or presenting) recently surfaced material: "introducing data of uncertain reliability to the realm of public knowledge".

It would be helpful for both organisations to focus on collecting histories and the authenticated documentation that support the presentation of such information.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Silver phiale acquired in honour of Thomas P. Campbell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gilt silver phiale mesomphalos
I note that the AAMD object registry has listed an Athenian gold-figured silver phiale that has been acquired by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv. 2015.260.3). It had been placed on loan from June 2014.

The collecting history is given as follows:
[By 2001, with Ariadne Galleries, New York and London]; 2001, purchased by Mary and Michael Jaharis from Ariadne Galleries, New York; 2001-2015, collection of Mary and Michael Jaharis, New York; acquired in 2015, gift of Mary and Michael Jaharis in honor of Thomas P. Campbell.
Thus the history cannot be traced back to the period prior to 1970.

What information has been provided by the Ariadne Galleries? What is the extent of the due diligence search?

Interestingly the weight is given as 14.6 oz, the equivalent of over 400 g, close to the equivalent of 100 drachmas or 1 mina. Comparable pieces have been found at Duvanli in Bulgaria.

It would be difficult for the MMA if an object presented in honour of its director was found to have an unorthodox collecting history.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: Terracottas

Further details are emerging on the Etruscan architectural terracottas that have been returned from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen to Italy.

Here is a selection of the architectural terracottas from the return. They are suggestive of material from several Etruscan temples in the region of Cerveteri.

  • HIN 696-703. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 28-29, no. 1 
  • HIN 704. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 38-39, no. 7  
  • HIN 705. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 38, no. 7
  • HIN 706. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 38-39, no. 7  
  • HIN 707. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 38-39, no. 7  
  • HIN 708. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 38-40, no. 7  
  • HIN 709, 710. Revetment plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 116-117, no. 55  
  • HIN 711, 712. Revetment plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 116-117, no. 55  
  • HIN 713-716. Revetment plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 30-31, no. 2  
  • HIN 717-719. Revetment plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 30-31, no. 2 
  • HIN 720-721. Seated sphinx. Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 144-147, no. 69 
  • HIN 722. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70  
  • HIN 722. Acroterion base. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. 
  • HIN 722E. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70 
  • HIN 722F. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70 
  • HIN 723. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70 
  • HIN 724. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 152-153, no. 72  
  • HIN 725. Antefix. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 60-61, no. 19  
  • HIN 726. Antefix. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 57, no. 17 
  • HIN 727. Columen plaque. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 169, no. 76  
  • HIN 728. Columen plaque. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 168, no. 76  
  • HIN 729. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 152-153, no. 72 
  • HIN 731. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70  
  • HIN 734. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 148-149, no. 70  
  • HIN 737. Acroterion. Cerveteri. Lulof in Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 154-157, no. 73 
  • HIN 738. Columen plaque. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 168, no. 76 
  • HIN 739. Raking simas. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 46, no. 11  
  • HIN 742. Tiles. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p.33, no. 4
  • HIN 743. Tiles. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p.33, no. 4 
  • HIN 744. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 38, no. 7   
  • HIN 745. Painted wall plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 188, no. 83  
  • HIN 746. Raking sima. Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 38, no. 7  
  • HIN 747. Plaques. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 118, no. 56  
  • HIN 750. Painted wall plaque. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 189, no. 84  
  • HIN 751. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 38, no. 7  
  • HIN 752. Painted wall plaque. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 188, no. 83  
  • HIN 753. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 41, no. 7  
  • HIN 754. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 41, no. 7  
  • HIN 755. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 51  
  • HIN 756. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 51  
  • HIN 758. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 51  
  • HIN 759. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 41, no. 7  
  • HIN 768. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 150-151, no. 71  
  • HIN 772. Tiles. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 33, no. 4 
  • HIN 773. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 152-153, no. 72  
  • HIN 775. Acroterion. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 150-151, no. 71  
  • HIN 872. Acroterion. Cerveteri. Lulof in Christiansen & Winter 2010, pp. 154-157, no. 73
  • HIN 873. Raking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 44, no. 9   
  • HIN 874-877. Taking sima. Similar to pieces from Cerveteri. Christiansen & Winter 2010, p. 45, no. 1  





Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ny Carlsberg returns: the pottery

Here are details of some of the pottery from the Ny Carlsberg returns:

  • IN 3417. Messapian trozella (nestoris). Acquired 1970 from the Art Market. Find-spot: Monte Salete (Grottaglie) in Apulia. CVA 1, pl. 105-106, no. 82.
  • IN 3419. East Greek alabastron in the form of a sandalled foot. Acquired 1970. Allegedly found at Gela (Sicily). CVA 1, pl. 129, no. 123.
  • IN 3444. East Greek alabastron in the form of a helmeted head. Acquired 1972. CVA 1, pl 127, no. 115.
  • IN 3445. East Greek alabastron in the form of the head of an eagle. Acquired 1973. CVA 1, pl. 131, no. 129.
  • IN 3498. East Greek alabastron in the form of a left leg. Acquired 1974. CVA 1, pl. 130, no. 122.
  • IN 3606. Attic Panathenaic amphora, attributed to the Robinson group. Acquired 1980 on the art market. CVA 1, pls. 45-48, no. 28.


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Ny Carlsberg Returns Objects to Italy

Tomb XI from Colle del Forno. Photo: Ana Cecilia Gonzalez
Back in 2008 I wrote about the Italian claims against the Ny Carlsberg in Copenhagen that had started in 2002. Earlier this month an announcement was made that Denmark would be returning objects to Italy.

A list of the material, some 501 objects, has now been released:

  • 150 objects from the tomb XI ( Colle del Forno necropolis in Sabina ) with an Etruscan wagon , inv . no. HIN 527-550 , HIN 552-668, HIN 670-672 and HIN 675 
  • 110 Etruscan architectural fragments from Cerveteri and Veii, inv . no. HIN 696-800 and HIN 802-806 
  • 98 architectural fragments and antefixes from Veii , inv . no. HIN 822-919 
  • 59 individual antique objects , inv. no. IN 3500 and IN 3502-3559 
  • 17 architectural fragments, inv . no. IN 3426-3442 
  • 19 Etruscan artifacts from Vulci and Cerveteri, inv . no. HIN 676-693 and HIN 695
  • 34 individual antique objects, inv IN 3415, IN 3417-3419, IN 3423-3424, IN 3444-3445, IN 3447, 3498-3499 , IN 3570-3576, IN 3606-3607, IN 3622-3623, IN 3625, HIN 522-526 , HIN 669, HIN 673-674, HIN 821 and HIN 920-921 
  • 14 Etruscan artifacts from Vulci and Cerveteri, inv. no. HIN 807-820 

The objects from Tomb XI from the Colle del Forno were acquired in 1970 and 1971.

I am grateful to Jakob Fibiger Andreasen for images and details, and to Lynda Albertson for other information.

For the sequence of numbers:
  • HIN 522-526
  • HIN 527-550 , HIN 552-668, 
  • HIN 669
  • HIN 670-672 
  • HIN 673-674
  • HIN 675 
  • HIN 676-693 and HIN 695
  • HIN 696-800
  • HIN 802-806 
  • HIN 807-820
  • HIN 821
  • HIN 822-919 
  • HIN 920-921
  • IN 3415, IN 3417-3419, IN 3423-3424
  • IN 3426-3442 
  • IN 3444-3445, IN 3447, 3498-3499
  • IN 3500 
  • IN 3502-3559 
  • IN 3570-3576, IN 3606-3607, IN 3622-3623, IN 3625


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and Italy: "trasforma una crisi in opportunità"

The Italian Government and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen have come to an agreement over a series of objects acquired from the 1970s ("TORNA IN ITALIA IL PREZIOSO CARRO SABINO A DECORAZIONI DORATE: Franceschini, storico accordo tra l’Italia e il museo Ny Calsberg Glyptotek di Copenhagen", MIBACT 5 July 2016 [press release]). Although the press release is vague ("collezione di antichità del museo danese sin dagli anni Settanta del Novecento") it would appear that the objects are those associated with Robert Hecht (presumably "mercato internazionale dell’arte") and discussed by Elisabetta Povoledo in 2009. The original Italian request goes back to 2002 and renewed in 2007.

The press release also appears on the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek's website ("HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN ITALY AND THE NY CARLSBERG GLYPTOTEK"). One of the key sections provides information about the return:
About the Restitution 
The agreement is the result of the academic dialogue which has proceeded since the spring of 2012 between the Ministry of Culture in Italy and the Glyptotek. The agreement complies with the wishes of the Italian state for the restitution of a number of archaeological, primarily Etruscan objects which the Glyptotek acquired at the beginning of the 1970s through the international art market. Since that time investigations have shown that the objects had been unearthed in illegal excavations in Italy and exported without licence, which is why from a point of reason and common sense there is a consensus that these particular objects should return to Italy. 
The restitution which covers, for instance, the famous princely tomb from Sabina, begins in December this year and should be complete by the end of 2017.
One can only wonder if other museums in Japan, Holland and North America are preparing for further returns.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amphora withdrawn from Christie's

Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
Christie's has decided to withdraw the amphora that had been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis as the one apparently featuring in photographs seized in a Greek police raid.

Christie's now need to look (yet again) at their due diligence process that does not appear to be rigorous enough to identify these potentially 'toxic' pieces. They need to look at how they authenticate the collecting histories of lots prior to the sale.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Due diligence needs to matter for the London market

Image seized in Greek police raid (2007)
Source: Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
Due diligence matters. And it matters even more in London as Westminster politicians discuss the issues surrounding cultural property.

And that is why major auction-houses offering cultural property for sale need to demonstrate their due diligence process and indicate the authenticated collecting history for each lot.

Failure to do so merely undermines the market.

Repeat infringements by certain institutions would suggest that due diligence is not taken seriously, and would therefore strengthen the case for politicians to take self-regulation out of the hands of the market.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails