Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sevso Treasure: New Developments

PhDiva had the lowdown on this first ('Sevso Treasure: New Developments', Wednesday, March 26, 2014). This news broke today: 'Sevso Treasure, “Hungary's family silverware,” returned',  The Budapest Business Journal on the web:
I am a little unclear about what exactly Hungary bought as the article says seven (7) items, and the Sevso Hoard is made up of 14 items: It seems a bit odd if Hungary bought half the Hoard
A later report  gives the price as 15 million Euros and  said that the artifacts were taken back to Hungary from London a few days ago after long negotiations with unidentified sellers.
So they presumably bought some of the pieces off Northampton or the Trust that owns them, not other newly surfaced items.[...] 15 million Euros for the larger pieces of the Hoard sounds like a very good compromise - in theory they would be worth a lot more on the open market if anyone would buy them, but if Hungary couldn't substantiate their claim ... I assume the price is a reimbursement of the owner's cost.
Fifteen million Euros is reportedly a third of the asking price for the whole Hoard in 1990. The items will be on display at the Parliament for three months. I believe (on a number of grounds) that the hoard really did come from what is now Hungary, and it is a shame that the current shape of international legislation and the way the finds were 'laundered' by the deliberate opaqueness of the antiquities market prevents it being returned to that country without them having to buy back what everything suggests was illegally taken from them.

UPDATE 27th March 2014
There is a press release from the Hungarian Prime Minister's office 'Ancient Roman Seuso-treasure repatriated to Hungary', March 26, 2014:
The silver Seuso-treasure consists of fourteen silver vessels used for dining and washing. The Hungarian State has now acquired seven silver pieces of the Seuso-treasure: the Hunting (Seuso) Plate and the Geometric Plate, the two geometric ewers, the Basin, the Casket, the Dionysiac Ewer and the copper cauldron that was used for hiding the treasure 1500 years ago.
The Seuso-treasure was found in the middle of the 1970s around Polgárdi, situated close to Balaton. Despite the international investigation that has been ongoing since then, little is known for certain about their history until their aforementioned appearance at the New York auction in 1990.

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