Monday, 23 March 2015

Macedonia museum staff guilty of trafficking artefacts

Agence France-Presse, 'Macedonia museum staff guilty of trafficking artefacts', March 3, 2015
The former director of Macedonia's national museum and six other people have been found guilty of trafficking 162 ancient artefacts, a Macedonian court said Friday. Pero Josifovski [...] was jailed for seven years and eight months, while his accomplices - five of whom were also museum staff - received prison sentences ranging from one to seven years. [...] The stolen objects, which included 121 made of pure gold, date back to the classical era and stem from the famous archeological site of Isar Marvinci in Macedonia's southeast.
Update 2nd April 2015
The Macedonian Archaeological Society has created a petition which puts a different slant on matters:
Until today the investigation has not revealed the perpetrators of this crime. The stolen objects have not been found, either. Instead, our respected colleagues and members of our Society, Mr. Zlatko Videski – an archaeologist and Mr. Pero Josifovski – a numismatist, who held the position of directors in the Museum were detained, and recently unjustly accused and convicted for negligence and official misconduct which “indirectly caused and helped the alienation of the artifacts”. Three other colleagues, also museum curators and members of the Museum Commission for Acquisition of Museum Objects were detained, and unrelated to the event, unjustly accused in the process, too, for an acquisition of coins from a registered private collection.
The numismatic aspect of this were repressed in the original reports. I wonder how coin collectors who insist that numismatic items are "freely sold in the source countries" would like to react. Will we find any of them signing the petition to get the sentence of fellow collectors overturned?

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