Friday, 9 December 2016

To Whose Benefit?

Steve Roach, Coin World has a very derivative article on 'New restrictions on coins minted within Egypt include widely circulated Roman Egyptian pieces' (12/09/16) in which he writes:
the assistant secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, made the determinations for import restrictions, following guidelines established in 1983’s Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. First, it was determined that the cultural patrimony of Egypt is in jeopardy from the pillage of archaeological material from a broad swath of its history. Second, it found that the Egyptian government had taken measures to protect its cultural property and that import restrictions imposed by the United States would be of substantial help in deterring a serious situation of pillage and that less drastic remedies are not available. Finally, the State Department determined that the import restrictions are consistent with the general interests of the international community in the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes.
So that raises the question why one small minority group withn the broader US population so vehemently protesting the moves to clean up the US market and opposing the efforts made to keep smuggled coins and loot off it. We note that the protests are led by the dealers who profit from the trade in dugup antiquities.

Who we Are: UK Metal Detectorists' Joke

UK Metal Detectorists' Joke
"Q. What’s the difference between the Treasure Trove Awards Committee and terrorists?  A. You can negotiate with terrorists."
The Treasure award in the UK is discretionary, it can always be withheld. There is also a procedure for questioning the TVC valuation. But even with a system where Treasure hunters are treated fairly and generously at public expense, instead of being locked up as they are elsewhere, individuals like these want more, and more.

Palmyra's Current Situation, Not Good?

53 min.53 minuty temu
: map by opposition media showing the current situation around after regime forces collapsed against on several sides

 Actually, this is not a lot different from when the state recaptured the town, but still worrying. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Perforation of the UK's PASt Piece by Piece


 probably a lot more if the patterns of artefacts often just under the surface have not been decimated by repeated and unsystematic metal detecting by hobbyist collectors walking off with random bits of the evidence. No amount of ten-figure NGR recording of a selection of the things removed from the ground with the PAS can fill in the information holes. This is simply knowledge theft. A commercial rally was held on a site just like this at Lenborough. Not only did the archaeological establishment not protest the choice, part of it (the PAS) went along to help hoik out the artefacts willy nilly. Shame on the lot of you.

Flimflam from the Coineys and the Responsible Art Trade

US import restrictions on icons and other Byzantine ecclesiastical material from Greece remain in force. It is not clear if lobbyists from the trade in such items are kicking up such a fuss as the jerks that sell dugup antiquities. Any Baltimore illegal import stunts and flimflam over "first found in -ooops-I've-lost-the-documentation-again" on the horizon from these dealers? Or do they just get the paperwork together?

More on the 'Financing of ISIL'

I include this as an example of the genre rather than anything else. Some of this is clearly warped logic and recycling of discredited information (e.g., the 36 million): Martin Berger, 'How ISIS is Repaying its Masters' New Eastern Outlook 7th Dec 2016.

Vignette: Relevance to article unclear, but eyecatching

Lessons from the “Torlonia Peplophoros”

Fifteen Roman statues were stolen from the Villa Torlonia mansion in Italy on Nov. 13, 1983. The thief was never caught. The statues seem to have been lying in 'distancing' storage for more than a decade ('Evidence of How the "Legitimate" Antiquities Market Operates and Deals with any Possible Paper Trail'). After this, at least one of them was smuggled into the Unites States in the late 1990s.There it again lay low a while before being purchased for $81,000 by a private art collector in 2001. Sadly, he lost his money because he'd not demanded documented proof that it was indeed of legal origins:
When the collector learned the piece had been pilfered while trying to auction it off in 2015, he turned it over to the FBI in New York, the feds said. The FBI briefly put the statue on display at the New York Historical Society Library on Central Park West and West 76th Street on Wednesday afternoon before shipping it back to its home.
This shows the importance of not buying artefacts which have no proper documentation to support the dealer's word-of-mouth assurances that the item is kosher. The Torlonia Peplophoros proved to be an expensive lesson for one collector. Let's hope the dealer is still in business and the collector sues him for a return of his money.

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