Showing 1 result for the tag: Ricardo Elia.

November 17, 2011

Due dilligence & the acquisition of antiquities by museums

Posted at 1:40 pm in Similar cases

Many museums holding disputed artefacts, claim that these were acquired in a different era, when ethical standards were different to how they are now. What they can’t absolve themselves from quite so easily is the cases that relate to far more recent acquisitions, where it appears that the right questions were never properly asked before the purchase was made.

Huffington Post

Is It Possible to “Collect” Antiquities These Days?
Posted: 04/ 5/11 05:40 PM ET

Antiquities is “the only area of the art world that deals entirely with stolen goods.” Perhaps that is an exaggeration — certainly, many ancient objects were never looted from historic sites or even dug out of the ground — but it is a bit of hyperbole that has a growing level of acceptance, to some degree with the public and overwhelmingly with archaeologists. Clemency Coggins, professor of archaeology and art history at Boston University, who made this comment, describes herself as a moderate on this issue because she believes that some antiquities can be legally owned. However, in her ideal world, antiquities dealers would “get out of the business.”

One might assume that the trade in antiquities would be diminishing on its own. Almost every nation on the planet (the United States is a notable exception) has enacted laws to limit or prohibit the export of cultural property older than some specified number of years. With Mexico, it’s pre-Columbian objects; with Pakistan, it’s art and antiques dating before 1857. Presumably, no more comes out of these and other countries, leaving a dwindling supply of stuff that hasn’t already been donated to museums.
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