Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Nineteenth Century Mining of Greek Artefacts

The Chasing Aphrodite twitter feed has a link to an article in Hesperia about Athanasios Rhousopoulos (1823–1898), a professor of Archaeology in the University of Athens. He was an avid collector and one of the most important, if not the most important, dealers in art and antiquities in Athens between the 1860s and 1890s.

Yannis Galanakis, and S. Skaltsa 2012, 'Tomb robbers, art dealers and a dikast’s pinakion from an Athenian grave', Hesperia 81:3

One of the authors has written several recent papers on nineteenth century antiquity procurement in Greece, including texts on Rhousopoulos:

Yannis Galanakis, 'Guns, Drugs, and the Trafficking of Antiquities. Archaeology in 19th-century Greece' CHS Research Bulletin October 17, 2012

Yannis Galanakis, '“University Professor – Antiquities Looter”?' CHS Research Bulletin October 31, 2012

Yannis Galanakis, 'Of Grave Hunters and Earth Contractors: A Look at the “Private Archaeology” of Greece', CHS Research Bulletin November 15, 2012

Yannis Galanakis, 'To Serve and to Source: a Trading Consul at the Service of the British Museum', CHS Research Bulletin November 29, 2012

 Chasing Aphrodite draw attention to a quote from the Hesperia article:
"Rhousopoulos’s strategic marketing of his wares [suggests] he was inventing contexts in order to sell objects and make a profit."
How many objects on the market today (as opposed to old documented museum collections) can now be identified as having a Rhousopoulos provenance?

Vignette: modern Greek flag

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