Browsing All Posts filed under »Repatriation«

More (Allegedly) Stolen Art at Sotheby’s

August 24, 2012


There is yet another piece of allegedly stolen art gracing the pages of Sotheby’s 2011 catalog. Prosecutors have recently filed suit against Sotheby’s over a 1,000 year old statute of a Hindu warrior, according to a recent article in The New York Times. The documents claim that Sotheby’s knew the sculpture “was an important piece […]

Public and Private Property in the Cultural Property Realm: Reporting from Oahu

June 6, 2012


Reporting from the Law and Society 2012 Conference in fabulous Honolulu, I went to a talk yesterday by Betina Kuzmarov on the Parthenon Marbles. Before you go getting all skeptical that anyone could add anything interesting to the discussion at this point, listen up. Betina first outlined the four basic categories of arguments that people […]

Korea Demands Tokyo’s Return of Chosun Prince Armor

May 3, 2012


The Tokyo National Museum has acknowledged it holds a set of armor and headpiece worn by a Chosun prince, which Korean civil organizations allege was illegally exported during Japan’s rule of Korea. The Museum has  argued that the 1,100 Korean antiquities in the Okura collection should not be returned because they were privately owned before […]

Looted Breton Painting Returned to France

October 25, 2011


In an official ceremony last week, the United States returned the looted “Fisherman’s Daughter” painting by Jules Breton to France. In 1918, German occupation troops confiscated many works of art from the Douai Beaux Art Museum in Northern France, “Fisherman’s Daughter” among them.  Last year, a New York art dealer was found importing the painting […]

Genocide Skulls Returned to Namibia

October 24, 2011


Germany is returning 20 human skulls to Namibia and issuing a public apology for the events resulting in their possession of the skulls. During the late 19th-century colonial sweep of Africa, Germany colonized Namibia.  Thousands of indigenous people were killed when they revolted against the German command in the first decade of the 20th century.  […]

Pakistani Protest Halts Auction of Siddhartha Buddha

October 3, 2011


An advertisement for an upcoming Christie’s auction in Paris caught the eye of a UNESCO official, who recognized the pictured “Fasting Buddha” as a potentially illicit antiquity.  The 3rd/4th century Gandhara piece is characteristic of objects illegally excavated and smuggled from Buddhist sites in the early 1980’s.  The auction had an impressive starting price of […]

MET Repatriates Antiquities to Egypt and More on Hawass’ Dismissal

August 3, 2011


Yesterday, I was interviewed by WYNC’s “All Things Considered” radio broadcast on the repatriation of 19 objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Egypt, and the recent dismissal of Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs. Listen to the Audio here (at 41:55). Read more in the corresponding article, Metropolitan Museum […]

US Customs Seizes Illicitly Exported Mexican Idol

August 1, 2011


US Customs and Border Patrol seized an illicitly exported Pre-Columbian Nayarit artifact as it was being shipped from Indiana to British Columbia.  NWI explained: Investigators learned the 4-inch, orange figurine of a woman was found to have sold for $550 at an auction and was en route from Indiana to the buyer in British Columbia, […]

FBI Returns Antiquities Stolen During US Occupation to Iraq

July 12, 2011


Efforts made by the US government to rectify the looting and pillaging of cultural property in Iraq during the American occupation appear to be paying off.   This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) returned a collection of objects illegally imported into the United States from Iraq.  The […]

Bulgarian Repatriation “Like an Action Film” Says Cultural Minister

June 22, 2011


It is well-known that many illegally traded antiquities are sent through the international mail, especially via private carriers.  The chances of discovery are nearly nil.  But they aren’t quite zero. In 2007, the Canada Border Services Agency caught two batches of cultural property being imported from Bulgaria into Canada by mail.  The Agency detained the […]