Just received Knelman’s book HOT ART. While browsing this book I noticed my name and the Museum Security Network (MSN) in chapter 15, more specifically at pages 290 and 291 etc.

 Fascinating reading: “The genesis of MSN didn’t have to do with making money; it had to do with one museum security official coping with the aftermath of an armed robbery at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. In 1996, Ton Cremers was head of security when a group of seventeenth-century paintings were stolen. Cremers felt isolated and vulnerable. To soothe his lonesome paranoia, he decided to start his own website, as a way to tell his story as well as a place to post articles from the world media chronicling the rising number of museum thefts. The articles were comforting to him, because they indicated that he wasn’t the only museum security director dealing with violent criminals……..In 2000, Cremers held his first MSN conference, which attracted museum professionals from across the world, including the Getty’s Bob Combs…”.
WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!
There never ever was an armed robbery at the Rijksmuseum. Never ever ‘ a group of 17th century paintings were stolen’ from the Rijksmuseum. I never ever organized an MSN conference.
Soothing my ‘lonesome paranoia’?
‘Dealing with violent crimes’? As security director of the Rijksmuseum (and several other museums) I never ever experienced violent crimes.
What is this author writing about? I really lost all appetite to read the rest of this sensationalist book.
This books is not even fit to wrap fish in.
Ton Cremers

March 31st, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 31st, 2012

Posted In: Uncategorized

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 31st, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 31st, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 31st, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

Ka Nefer Nefer Case Resumes After Lengthy Hiatus

http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/ka-nefer-nefer-case-resumes-after.html

March 30, 2012
St. Louis Art Museum

Lawyers for the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) filed a sur-reply last week in the case of U.S. v. Mask of Ka Nefer Nefer after activity in the case–at least with regard to legal filings–abruptly ended in August 2011.  That changed last week when SLAM submitted a pleading to the eastern district federal court in Missouri.  The court submission commented on the running dispute about whether the museum has legal standing to remain in the case.

The government filed a claim in March 2011 to forfeit the mask of Ka Nefer Nefer located at SLAM.  The 19th Dynasty Egyptian mummy mask of a noblewoman is alleged by the government to have been stolen from Egypt.

The government’s forfeiture action was a response to SLAM’s legal effort in February 2011 to quiet the title of the mask so that the museum potentially could own the artifact without worry.  In July 2011, federal lawyers filed a motion to knock SLAM off the forfeiture case, arguing that the museum could make no colorable legal claim to ownership because the mask is a stolen object.  The motion to strike SLAM from the case set off a volley of legal pleadings related to whether the Ka Nefer Nefer mask is contraband.  The federal government argued that possession of the mask was akin to possessing cocaine, which is illegal.

After a long absence of legal submissions, SLAM’s most recent sur-reply picks up the argument once again.  The museum charges that it “has consistently taken the position that the Government’s claim is barred from the outset by the statute of limitations and that its forfeiture claim must fail because the Government is unable to prove the Mask was stolen. In raising the arguments it does, the Government is attempting to delay or avoid the consideration of those questions by confusing the standard for constitutional standing and making the bizarre suggestion that the Court pretend that the Museum claims an interest ‘not of a centuries old Egyptian mask, but rather a kilogram of cocaine.’  In doing so, the Government so muddles and confuses the term ‘contraband,’ and the significance that the term carries, that some clarification is necessary.” (citations omitted).

SLAM adds that the mummy mask is not contraband per se (such as illegal drugs) “as [artifacts] may be lawfully owned and become contraband only based on a connection with a criminal act.”  Relying on U.S. v. Jeffers, 342 U.S. 48, 52-54 (1951), the museum asserts that “[t]he Supreme Court has recognized that, in the absence of a law foreclosing property rights, artifacts can be privately owned.”

SLAM criticizes the government, saying that “[t]he Government’s evolving positions with respect to the ownership issue seem to be at war with themselves.”  The museum argues that Egypt’s patrimony law, which claims ownership of cultural objects found on its soil, is argued by the government to be a law granting private ownership in one pleading and alternatively, in another pleading,  a law that restricts private ownership.

SLAM concludes by reasserting that it has made a colorable claim to ownership to the mummy mask.

The government filed papers on March 28, 2012 for leave to reply to the sur-reply.

CONTACT: http://www.culturalheritagelawyer.com/

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire: Ka Nefer Nefer Case Resumes After Lengthy Hiatus.

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 30th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 29th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

easier pickings than museums?

http://www.artmediaagency.com/en/39678/churches-easier-pickings-than-museums/

March 29, 2012

Paris, 28 March 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The French Central Office Against the Traffic of Cultural Goods (OCBC) has published its yearly report on trafficking in France. The report states, as it has for the past nine years, that the number of cases is dropping, from 7,180 in 2002 to 1,173 in 2011.

The number of cases in the majority of categories has gone down.

The number of thefts from castles and other prestigious residencies has dropped from 562 cases in 2002 to 68 in 2011. Over the same period, the number of thefts from art galleries over the same period went from 78 to 61.

Thefts from houses and apartments, where they are most common, fell from 6,159 to 775.

The figures concerning museums stayed relatively stable, going from 39 to 24.

This overall drop is easy to explain. Establishments are reinforcing their security systems, improving their data bases and getting better and better at legally documenting their collections. The consequences of stealing works considered to be part of French national heritage are also to become more serious. As a result, it is becoming more and more difficult and dangerous for potential thieves to take pieces.

Another point should be taken into consideration: changes on the market for precious metals, the prices of which have massively increased in 2011. A new trend has consequently appeared: the theft of objects from places of worship, including crucifixes, chalices and statues. As churches rarely have high security, they make easy targets. Thefts from places of worship had dropped from 365 to 119 between 2002 and 2010, but this number went back up to 245 in 2011.

Churches: easier pickings than museums? « AMA.

March 29th, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 29th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

ANOTHER AUCTION OF AFRICAN ARTEFACTS BY

http://www.museum-security.org/opoku_dorotheum_march2012.htm

March 28, 2012

ANOTHER AUCTION OF AFRICAN ARTEFACTS BY

VIENNA AUCTION HOUSE, DOROTHEUM: BETTER PROVENANCES?

Memorial Head, Benin, Nigeria. , Austrian Collection

The artefacts in this second auction raise the same problems as the first. The provenance given is often extremely vague e.g. from the “collection of a German missionary”, “Belgian collection,” “Austrian collection”, “private South African collection,” etc. This imprecision does not facilitate the determination of the mode of acquisition of the artefacts and their legitimacy. Nor do we have any precise dates. Thus we cannot follow the history of the ownership of the object.

We note from the catalogue of the exhibition, available on line in English, entries for the following countries:

Angola – 1

Burkina Faso-11

Cameroon – 9

Côte d’Ivoire-13

Democratic Republic of Congo – 56

Ethiopia – 6

Ghana – 3

Madagascar – 2

Mali – 7

Nigeria – 37

Sudan – 3

Tanzania – 4

Togo – 1

Ancestor figure in form of a male-female Janus figure. Lobi, Burkina Faso

In connection with the previous auction, an item that may have escaped the attention of some readers,(It was in French) and reported in Museum Security Network and AFRICOM-L, was the successful recovery by the Democratic Republic of Congo of two stolen artefacts that had been put up for auction by the Dorotheum, Vienna.

According to the Director-General of the Institut des Musées nationaux du Congo (IMNC), Joseph Ibongo, two artefacts had been stolen from the Institut between 1997 and 2000. An Austrian judicial decision that the objects should be returned made it necessary for Mrs Elisabeth Leopold, widow of Dr. Rudolph Leopold, to enter into contact with the authorities of the Institute.

Mrs. Leopold had inherited the objects from her late husband who died in 2010 but she was unable to provide receipt or other documentary evidence attesting to the purchase of the objects.

The lawyer of the Leopold family contacted the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Germany. Mrs Leopold had declared herself willing to return the objects in question to the Institute, demanding guarantees that they will be sent to the legitimate owner.

The Director of the Institute provided all proofs and information to Mrs Leopold and went to Vienna to perform all the required formalities for the transfer to IMNC. The transfer of the objects was effected by way of diplomacy.

The success of the Democratic Republic is further evidence that restitution can be effected through judicial and other channels by the African States that pursue the matter with some consistency and perseverance.

Standing Drum, Kuba, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kwame Opoku, 28 April 2012.ANOTHER AUCTION OF AFRICAN ARTEFACTS BY.

March 28th, 2012

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 28th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 28th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 28th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 28th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 27th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 26th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 26th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

Nederlands Dagblad

http://www.nd.nl/artikelen/2012/maart/21/terugbrengen-gestolen-zilver-loont

March 24, 2012

Terugbrengen gestolen zilver loont

De verzekeraar van Museumgouda, waar woensdag met een explosief werd ingebroken, heeft er vijfduizend euro voor over om het zilverstuk dat werd gestolen terug te krijgen. “Tips of aanwijzingen worden niet beloond”, zegt directeur Gerard de Kleijn van het museum. “Alleen het terugbrengen van de zeventiende-eeuwse monstrans.”

Twee mannen braken in de nacht van dinsdag op woensdag in bij Museumgouda. “Alle veiligheidsmaatregelen werkten”, gaat De Kleijn verder. “Maar tegen dynamiet kun je jezelf niet beveiligen.”

Van de inbraak zijn onder meer videobeelden gemaakt. De politie heeft ook informatie gekregen van omwonenden die de explosie hadden gehoord. Het museum is woensdag gewoon open. Veel van de bezoekers wisten niet dat er ingebroken was. Donderdag verwacht de museumdirecteur meer bezoekers.

Bij de plofkraak raakten ook twee schilderijen beschadigd, waaronder een werk van Ferdinand Bol. Hoe groot de financiële schade is voor het museum, wordt de komende tijd uitgezocht.

Gratis Nieuws – Nederlands Dagblad.

March 24th, 2012

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 24th, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 24th, 2012

Posted In: Auction Houses and stolen objects

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 24th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 24th, 2012

Posted In: Illicit Cultural Property

MacGregors New Defence for Illegal Detention of Artefacts of Others

http://www.museum-security.org/opoku_macgregor1.htm

March 25, 2012

Travelling Exhibition as Alternative to Restitution? Comments on Suggestion by Director of the British Museum.

The Director of the British Museum has indeed a fertile mind that never tires of inventing new defences for the retention of looted artefacts of others in the major museums.

Once it became clear that the infamous Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums.(2002) and its principles were not as effective as the signatories thought, other approaches had to be considered.

One such approach is the “travelling exhibition”. This seems interesting and reasonable until one begins to consider what is being proposed. MacGregor is reported in Elginism to have told an audience at the University of Western Australia that due to globalisation, the concept of “travelling exhibitions” will become more relevant;

“When you see these objects they will mean more to you in your own experience than they would in London or the place where they were made”

“The value of an object is to explain history to as many people as possible and explain the present to as many people as possible that may not be achieved by being returned to the place where it was made.”

These statements made to an appreciative audience in Perth, must be examined closely.

MacGregor has for many years defended the retention of artefacts of others on the ground that in the British Museum you can compare the objects with artefacts from other cultures. Thus you can compare Egyptian artefacts with Greek objects. London was the best place for such comparisons. Has he now abandoned the claims for London or is he maintaining the contradictions?

What MacGregor is saying here, perhaps not meaning to say so, is that artefacts are better appreciated outside London and the place where they were produced.

Would we really accept the notion that the Benin Bronzes are better appreciated outside London and outside Benin City? But what factors enable better appreciation of a Benin Commemorative Head outside Benin City and London?

Could one then go as far as to say that a better appreciation of British artefacts can be achieved in Lagos, Accra and Abidjan that is not possible in London? The absurdity of the suggestion becomes patent here and no one would suggest that artefacts be moved from the countries where they were produced to elsewhere.

The idea that “the value of an object is to explain history to as many people as possible” is surely to be rejected. Many African artefacts, stools, knives and pots were made for domestic use. In other words these objects have specific functions in the society where they were made. They are now being assigned the function of explaining history to persons who belong to different continents and cultures. If the objects have a history, it can only be in the history of their own cultures. Or do we want to add the history of the robbery and plunder of the objects by Westerners? Do we want to deny to objects their functions and roles in their own original societies and be more concerned by their fate in the land of the plunderers? Of course, you cannot explain the role and function of an object if you take it outside its society and assign to it a function that was never envisaged by the makers. MacGregor disqualifies the place of production, e.g. Benin City and the place of their present detention, e.g. London. In other words, if we cannot legitimately keep these objects in London, we will not send them either to Benin City.

The notion that the value of an artefact is to explain history may be linked to attempts to take control of the narrative of Greek history by assigning to the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles a different history starting from their presence in Britain. Similar attempts were also made in the case of the Benin exhibition-Kings and Rituals – Court Arts from Nigeria by assigning to the Benin Bronzes the so-called added values and shifting meanings they are said to have acquired since their presence in European museum since the nefarious Punitive Expedition of the British that in 1897 looted the Benin Bronzes and sold them to other Europeans.

The basic concept of travelling exhibition is sound and is not being questioned here. What we question is offering travel exhibition as an explanation or justification for retaining artefacts of others that had been plundered during the colonialist days. Interestingly, the two successful travelling exhibitions held recently on African art – Kings and Rituals – Court Arts from Nigeria and

Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa – were not shown in any African country, not even in Nigeria from where most of the Ife objects came. A large part of the Benin objects also came from that country. The question then remains as to which countries the travelling exhibitions would visit? We see all kinds of arguments being presented for excluding African countries.

Another issue will be the objects that will be considered for travelling exhibitions. We can see already that the most contested objects, the bust of Nefertiti and the Queen-Mother Idia ivory mask will be exempted from such exhibitions on the ground that they are too fragile to travel. As for the Rosetta Stone, it will be argued that it is too heavy for transportation. There may also be questions of insurance. It will be reported that Nigeria or some other African country was not ready to pay the necessary insurance premium that the British insurance company demanded.Through this process of elimination, the most important artefacts, especially those that have already been subjects of restitution will not travel and thus will remain where they are – London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and New York.

Travelling exhibitions, like all travels, have a starting point and an end point. The artefacts will start their journey from where they are at present – London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and New York – and will end the journey where they started – London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and New York. Travelling exhibitions, like all the other theories and approaches suggested by Western museum directors, all result in the looted artefacts remaining where they are at present.

MacGregor declared that “Two thirds of the people living in central London were born outside of the UK. This is a phenomenon which the world has not known before and it is replicated across the world and it gives museums a new role”. We hope that the British Museum Director has statistics to support this assertion and that it is not simply a reflection of the popular belief that anyone who does not look obviously English was born outside the UK. Many such persons were in fact born in Britain.

It is ever more important for the citizen who is a citizen of the world, to make sense of the world and that is what museums are for everywhere.

The Director of the British Museum must surely know that there are in reality no citizens of the world. We are citizens of the specific States and can only rely on the rights granted by our States and other States to citizens of specific States. How otherwise can we explain the fact that Africans are subject to strict visa regulations to Western States that never tire of telling us we are citizens of the world and all share the artistic treasures of humanity or as MacGregor states that

the travelling collections are used to “explore key elements of our shared history”. Whilst citizens of the Western world can go about freely, believing that they are “citizens of the world”, Africans who go about, thinking they are citizens of the world, would, at the borders of Western countries have a rude awakening when the immigration officers examine their travel documents. They would request their visa. They would soon realize that they had been labouring under a dangerous illusion, if they have no visa.

MacGregor referred to the growing diaspora in the world: “In the last 40 or 50 years, migrations from all over the world have happened in all directions by tourism and people travelling for business, we now have in most cities, populations that are by no means local and in some cases are entirely global”.

It should be added that where you have large migrant communities, this has not been due to “tourism” or “business travels.” Migrations have been largely due to unstable political conditions in countries previously subject to colonial rule and that have continued to exist in a neo-colonial socio-economic framework. We should also bear in mind that in the case of the African diasporas, slavery and other coercive and drastic measures have resulted in the Americas and in Western Europe having a huge African populations.

Western museum directors should avoid the temptation of using African and other diasporas as justification for retaining artefacts that were looted in the past.

They should not use this presence to defend imperialist acquisitions otherwise they would be punishing Africans more than twice; for enslaving them, dragging them across the Atlantic, exploiting their labour power, so far not compensated and using the results of these crimes as justifications for retaining looted artefacts. Attempts to create tensions between the African motherland and the diasporas will not work since most people are now aware that the interests of Africans on the Continent and those in the Diaspora are not antagonistic.

Whilst European and US-American museum directors proclaim loudly from roof-tops their determination and resolve not to return looted artefacts, African and Asian officials whisper softly in the living room their hopes and their

aspirations for the return of looted national treasures. O!Zahi Hawass

where are you?

It becomes clear then that all attempts to find or invent justifications for retaining looted African artefacts are bound to fail. These justifications cannot stand even the most cursory examination. It is also clear that Western museums and their governments are prepared to advance any argument however absurd and weak it may be. One thing they are not prepared to do, unless forced to, is to return any valuable artefact to its country of origin as the United Nations and UNESCO have been requesting for decades.

In view of the above and the history of restitution, it becomes difficult to understand how some people still believe that, without any strenuous efforts and determination, the British Museum and the other major museums will return looted artefacts.

Kwame Opoku, 25 March 2012.

via MacGregors New Defence for Illegal Detention of Artefacts of Others.

March 23rd, 2012

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 22nd, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 21st, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: CHASING APHRODITE

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: armed robbery

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 20th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 19th, 2012

Posted In: metal theft, Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 18th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 18th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 17th, 2012

Posted In: books and manuscripts, library theft

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 17th, 2012

Posted In: WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 17th, 2012

Posted In: Book reviews, WWII

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 16th, 2012

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 16th, 2012

Posted In: metal theft, sculpture theft

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 16th, 2012

Posted In: ARCA, fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 16th, 2012

Posted In: ARCA, fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 16th, 2012

Posted In: insider theft

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 15th, 2012

Posted In: Cyprus

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 15th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 15th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 15th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

Your Chance to Fight the Illicit Antiquities Trade

http://chasingaphrodite.com/2012/03/12/introducing-wikiloot-your-chance-to-fight-the-illicit-antiquities-trade/

March 14, 2012

Today we’re pleased to announce — and to seek your help with — an exciting new project we’ve been tinkering with in private for some time. We’re calling it WikiLoot.

The idea behind WikiLoot is simple:

1. Create an open source web platform, or wiki, for the publication and analysis of a unique archive of primary source records and photographs documenting the illicit trade in looted antiquities.

2. Use social media and other tools to engage a broad network of contributors — experts, journalists, researchers, dilettantes and curious citizens — to collaborate in the analysis of that material.

This chart showing the key players in the illicit antiquities trade was seized by Italian police in the 1990s.

The inspiration for WikiLoot is the vast amount of documentation seized by European investigators over the past two decades during investigations of the illicit trade in Classical antiquities smuggled (primarily) out of Greece and Italy. The business records, journals, correspondence and photographs seized from looters and middlemen during those investigations comprise a unique record of the black market.

Much of that documentation remains tangled in legal cases that are likely to end inconclusively, like that of former Getty antiquities curator Marion True and dealer Robert Hecht. Despite remarkable investigative work by authorities in Italy and Greece, only the trial of Italian dealer Giacomo Medici reached a verdict.

This Polaroid seized from the warehouse of dealer Giacomo Medici shows the Getty Museum’s Statue of Apollo shortly after it was looted from a tomb in Southern Italy.

WikiLoot will make these records and photographs publicly available on the web and will enlist collaborators around the world to tag and analyze them. As with Wikipedia, participants will be given credit for their contributions. Ultimately, we hope to create the world’s most authoritative dataset of a black market whose size and reach is still poorly understood. (Estimates of the illicit antiquities trade range from $200 million a year to $10 billion dollars a year.)

The project is still embryonic — we’re consulting with open-source techies on the best way to structure the wiki; with lawyers about the legal issues involved; and with social media experts on on how to engage the broader public in the effort. We’re also considering concerns about the effect this release of information will have on existing collections and the still-thriving market for antiquities with unclear ownership histories.

Today we’re taking an important step toward launching WikiLoot with our application for a Knight Foundation NewsChallenge Grant. And we need your help.

Challenge Grants reward innovative uses of new media to solve problems and inform the public. The theme of this round of grants is “networks.” Here’s how the folks at Knight explain what they’re looking for: “The Internet, and the mini-computers in our pockets, enable us to connect with one another, friends and strangers, in new ways. Witness the roles of networks in the formation, coverage and discussion of recent events such as the rise of the Tea Party, flash mobs, the Arab Spring, last summer’s UK riots and the Occupy movement. We’re looking for ideas that build on the rise of these existing network events and tools – that deliver news and information and extend our understanding of the phenomenon.”

For WikiLoot, our network is YOU — the growing number of interconnected people around the world concerned about the illicit antiquities trade and looking to do something about it. We’re relying on your input to shape the project and, once launched, contribute to it with your knowledge.

To start, we need your support for our Challenge Grant proposal. One of the key things considered by judges is public engagement with the proposed idea. The best way to show this is for you to “like” our proposal or add a comment on how you think it could help — or be improved. (You may need to sign in with a Tumblr or other social media account.)

Show your support by liking or commenting on our WikiLoot proposal, which is posted on Knight’s Tumblr page here

We’re also eager to tap your expertise — or curiosity — during this development stage of WikiLoot. What features would help engage a broad audience in the analysis of this material? What concerns do you have about its release? Who else should we be reaching out to or partnering with? What can you contribute?

To that end, we’ll be making WikiLoot a new tab at the top of ChasingAprhodite.com. That’s where you can submit public comments, suggestions or rants. We’ll update it with new information as things develop. If you’d like to contact us privately, do so via email: chasingaphrodite@gmail.com

Thanks for your interest and support. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on WikiLoot!

via Introducing WikiLoot: Your Chance to Fight the Illicit Antiquities Trade CHASING APHRODITE.

March 14th, 2012

Posted In: CHASING APHRODITE

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 12th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 12th, 2012

Posted In: Auction Houses and stolen objects

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 12th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 12th, 2012

Posted In: Uncategorized


TURKISH DECISION NOT TO LOAN ARTIFACTS TO MUSEUMS WITH WHICH IT HAS DISPUTES OVER

http://www.museum-security.org/opoku_turkey_march2012.htm

March 11, 2012

TURKISH DECISION TO STOP ARTEFACTS LOANS TO MUSEUMS HOLDING CONTESTED TURKISH ARTEFACTS: AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER STATES?

The decision by the Turkish Government to stop loans of artefacts to museums

with which it has disputes regarding artefacts has hit the British Museum, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The British Museum had wanted a number of Turkish artefacts for its current exhibition, “Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam”. Apparently Turkish museums were prepared to loan the requested objects but the Ministry of Culture stepped in and opposed the decision to loan. The Metropolitan Museum had also wanted objects for its exhibition Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition” which opens this month.

Turkey is insisting that the British Museum returns a carved stele said to have been bought in 1911 by the archaeologist Leonard Woolley with the permission of the Ottoman authorities and later sold to the British Museum.

King Antiochus I of Commagene shaking hands with Heracles.

The Victoria and Albert Museum also faces similar difficulties over its future exhibition, “The Ottomans” scheduled to open in 2014.

The Turkish decision may have taken some by surprise but it is part of a determined campaign by Turkey to recover its artefacts acquired under dubious circumstances by major museums and institutions in the Western world.

No matter what one may think of this decision, it has the merit of concentrating the mind on the basic issues of restitution. It is also one of the rare demonstrations of determination by a government to follow logically its statements on restitution with clear and decisive action. Far too often, governments and institutions from countries with restitution claims have made claims which are not followed or accompanied by any effective action. For example, at the height of the dispute concerning a proposed auction by Sotheby’s of a looted Benin mask of Queen-Mother Idia, the Nigerian authorities announced, inter alia, their intention of setting up a body to recover all looted/stolen Nigerian artefacts abroad. Up to today, there is no indication that any concrete action has been taken to implement this announcement. This leads many readers and institutions to wonder whether there is a genuine desire to recover the national heritage or whether this was simply propaganda to satisfy certain sections of their population.

The Turkish decision also contributes to clarifying the relations between the museums and the claiming States and the understanding of the two sides as regards cooperation between museums. It is clear to all that the existing attitude of the major museums as regards restitution and cooperation cannot and should not continue for long. This attitude that may be characterized as “Mine is mine but yours is oursdisplays a conception of cooperation that is not only cynical but also selfish.

The major Western Museums seem to be only interested in co-operation when it serves their interest. When they need artefacts for exhibitions they cooperate with source States like Turkey, Egypt or Nigeria to obtain the desired objects. Nigeria has cooperated with the British Museum, the Ethnology Museum, Berlin, the Ethnology Museum Vienna, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée du Quai Branly to mount exhibitions such, “Benin – Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria” and “Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa,” 2010, but when Nigeria requests the return of some of the Benin bronzes, the request is met by arrogance, utter disrespect, cynicism and useless arguments.

Reaction to Turkey’s demand for restitution of the carved stele of Antiochus I shaking hands with Heracles, is a good example of this disrespect. A spokeswoman of the British Museum is reported to have declared; “The museum would be willing to discuss a loan of the stele subject to the usual conditions. The trustees cannot consent to the transfer of ownership and firmly believe that it should remain part of the museum’s collection, where it can be seen in a world context by a global audience.

This statement, typical of the British Museum whenever other countries request return of their artefacts, indicates nothing but contempt for the claimants. It reminds one of similar response to Greece regarding the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles. Can one party seriously inform the other who is claiming ownership of an artefact that they would be ready to discuss a loan? It clearly shows there is no good will to discuss the issue of ownership and an answer is given that is more likely to annoy the other, aggravate matters and thus hinder a reasonable settlement of the matter. This cannot be the best answer to those whom one wants to cooperate with. Moreover, the phrase thrown in: “ where it can be seen in a world context by a global audience”, reduces the Turkish museums to museums of limited importance, non-world institutions with a monocultural audience. This phrase is a reflection of the self-appointed role of the British Museum as “universal museum”.

It has become evident that the major Western museums are still operating on the basis of the principles contained in the infamous Declaration on the Value and Importance of the Universal Museum. Though that document is hardly ever mentioned these days, the conduct of the major museums follows the principles and tactics mentioned there: they are not willing to give up voluntarily artefacts acquired under dubious circumstances from other countries but that have been long in the museums. Italy was able to secure the return of a large number of looted artefacts from major US-American museums and universities through a combination of threats and legal action.

In view of the above, it appears that the Turkish government has chosen a path that would put the necessary pressure on the museums to start serious discussions. States like Nigeria may finally realize that quiet diplomacy and statements not followed by any concrete actions and measures will not secure the return of any of the looted national heritage now lying in the major museums of the West. We have had enough time to recognize the inefficiency of the approaches followed by many claimant States and it is time to try other approaches.

States such as Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and Mexico etc should finally coordinate their efforts and adopt measures that are likely to persuade the major museums and their governments that it is time to resolve the questions of restitution that have been lingering on for decades.

Some of the major museums that have come to symbolize powerful dens of incredible iniquities may in the end find to their surprise that their own peoples and governments do not support them wholeheartedly in their dubious arguments.

Kwame Opoku, 11 March, 2012.TURKISH DECISION NOT TO LOAN ARTIFACTS TO MUSEUMS WITH WHICH IT HAS DISPUTES OVER.

March 11th, 2012

Posted In: Dr. Kwame Opoku writings about looted cultural objects

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 11th, 2012

Posted In: brand kasteel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 11th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 11th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 11th, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 10th, 2012

Posted In: Cyprus, looting and illegal art traffickers

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: books and manuscripts, library theft, museum security

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

Today ARCA published a personal matter about a former art crime police specialist on it’s blog. Sensationalist, disgusting, and useless.

 I know this matter will reach many newspapers, however the facts itself are not connected to the problem of art crime, and by no means part of ARCA’s subject matter. Let’s hope ARCA’s blog will not become a Rupert Murdoch tabloid.
Ton Cremers

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: archief

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 9th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 8th, 2012

Posted In: vervalsing

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 8th, 2012

Posted In: Auction Houses and stolen objects, insider theft

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: museum security

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: Fine Art Registry

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: books and manuscripts, library theft

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 7th, 2012

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers, Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: art fraud, Auction Houses and stolen objects, fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: fakes and forgeries


Scan van beeld om diefstal tegen te gaan

http://www.brabantsdagblad.nl/laatstenieuws/10597232/Scan-van-beeld-om-diefstal-tegen-te-gaan.ece

March 6, 2012

 

Maasdriel en buurgemeente Zaltbommel haalden uit voorzorg enkele kunstwerken weg. Jeroen Pelser, van het Bossche bedrijf PelserHartman meet- en tekenwerk, heeft nu een 3D laserscan gemaakt van het beeld ‘De Waterjongen’ aan de Waalkade in Zaltbommel. Doel: het volledig ‘in kaart brengen’ van het kunstwerk met het oog op het tegengaan van diefstal. “Als het gestolen wordt, heb je data om een exacte replica te kunnen maken. Ook handig om te weten is waar je het beeld kunt versterken en beveiligen”, zegt hij.

Woensdag meer hierover in het Brabants Dagblad.

Scan van beeld om diefstal tegen te gaan – Laatste nieuws – Brabants Dagblad.

Ben ik nu gek geworden? Een scan van een kunstwerk kan diefstal tegen gaan? Wat een nonsens. Musea maken al tientallen jaren foto’s van kunstwerken en beschrijven die nauwkeurig, maar dat voorkomt natuurlijk geen diefstal. De techniek waarbij zeer gedetailleerde scans van objecten kunnen worden gemaakt ken ik al een aantal jaren en ik werd in de loop der jaren door meerdere bedrijven benaderd die mij trachtten te overtuigen van de magische mogelijkheden van die scans. Scannen, hoe gedetailleerd ook, voorkomt diefstal niet en vooral niet van beelden omdat die met slechts 1 doel gestolen worden: zo snel mogelijk vernietigen en smelten. Er zit een belachelijke tegenspraak in dit bericht: de scan voorkomt diefstal en je kan hem goed gebruiken om een kopie te maken nadat het beeld gestolen wordt. Ja, hoe zit het nu? Als je zo zeker weet dat die scan diefstal voorkomt, waarom zou je hem dan nodig hebben om een kopie moeten maken? Die scan is helemaal niet nodig om te weten hoe een beeld te beveiligen. Het lijkt erop dat de gemeente Zaltbommel zich een poot uit liet trekken via slimme verkooppraatjes. Jakkie!

Ton Cremers

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: diefstal beelden

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: armed robbery, Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 5th, 2012

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers, Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 4th, 2012

Posted In: diefstal beelden

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 4th, 2012

Posted In: Auction Houses and stolen objects, Cultural Heritage in Danger, Safe Corner

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

March 4th, 2012

Posted In: Auction Houses and stolen objects, Cultural Heritage in Danger, Safe Corner

Next Page »