Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ancient Artefacts for Sale in Israel: What’s Legal?

I came across this while trying to find out what had happened in the John Lund case and thought it might be of interest: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff, 'Ancient Artifacts for Sale in Israel: What’s Legal? How to legally buy ancient artifacts in Israel', Biblical Archaeology 09/23/2011
Most people who legally buy ancient artifacts [...] purchase simple coins, oil lamps and clay pots, the everyday items of ancient life that, millennia later, become the treasured possessions of their new owners. But what exactly makes it legal to sell and buy ancient artifacts in Israel? [...] In order to sell antiquities legally in Israel, according to scholar and (authorized) Tel Aviv antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch, the seller must have an official license issued by the IAA (see Deutsch’s license below). In order to obtain and keep their licenses, dealers pay an annual fee of 1,880 shekels (around $550) and provide the IAA with an up-to-date inventory of their collections. The licenses also have to be prominently displayed in the dealer’s shop.

And because Lund was not legally authorized to sell antiquities in Israel, he was also not legally authorized to provide the tourists who purchased his antiquities with another key document: an export permit (see an example below). According to Deutsch, anyone purchasing antiquities from an authorized dealer must obtain an export permit to take their new treasure out of the country.

The free, IAA-issued permits can be obtained either through the e-mailed request of the dealer or by visiting the IAA office at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. Deutsch says most permits are issued within one to three days, although permits are only issued for those objects purchased from authorized dealers. In addition, certain antiquities, like large architectural pieces, stone or clay ossuaries or anything deemed by the IAA to include an important or unique inscription, cannot be taken out of the country, even if purchased legally.

This is the manner envisaged by the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. It is the export licence requirement which dealers of dugups have the coineys protesting about over in the USA.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.