.Nord on Art on the trail of more anonymously-commodified dugup finds (I think I've seen that mummy mask somewhere before):
Ah well, you know the old dealers' argument: with such "minor" pieces, providing the provenance would be more trouble than the object is worth . So when is a minor object not a minor object? And if a not-minor object has no provenance, what can it mean?Same old story, different venue — another auction of antiquities with vague or non-existent provenance, this time at Paris-based Pierre Berge & Associates. Their June 1, 2012 sale opens with 139 lots of ancient Egyptian artifacts of which 89 collectively have no provenance or undated provenance (65 have no provenance and 24 have undated provenance); and, of the 303 lots offered in the entire sale, 196 collectively have no provenance or undated provenance (164 have no provenance whatsoever and 32 have undated provenance).How is this possible? Given the successful repatriation of antiquities to Italy, Egypt and elsewhere, why would any auction house offer antiquities for sale that have either no provenance or undated provenance? And why would any collector purchase such works?