Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Dealers in Denial Still

David Gill ('A North American Dealer on Looting in Syria') takes North American dealer Chris M. Maupin to task for his comments on Simon Cox's BBC report on antiquities from Syria ("Sensationalist Reporting and the Antiquities Trade: If it’s in Print it Must be True!", February 22, 2015). he notes that, rather than actually referring to the documentary itself on BBC Radio 4, Maupinto only uses the supporting online blurb. Maupin  seems unaware of a number of features of the report,
Maupin's post is itself 'sensationalist' and could be described as 'ill-informed'. Is there another reason why Maupin want to discredit the BBC?  Is he wanting to ensure the continuing movement of archaeological material from the Middle East to potential buyers?
Here is Maupin's shop, Clio Ancient Art and Antiquities. And here in it are some Byzantine and Islamic lamps from Syria and Palestine acquired in the "mid 1960s" by some diplomat chappie. And here is the 1963 Syrian antiquities law. Here are some more lamps apparently from the same collection. And more. Is this the same collection? Why is it described differently? Here is a Sassanian glass bottle from "Iraq" and here's a summary of the 1935 Iraq antiquities law. Yes, Mr Maupin, let us discuss illicit antiquities from the Middle East on the US market, does the problem consist of what commentators are currently saying, or does the problem have deeper roots?

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