Friday, 29 May 2015

Silence from the Dealers

UN assembly hall - dealers' arguments
do not cut much mustard here (Wikipedia)

The UN General Assembly unanimously
urges all States to take appropriate measures to ensure that all actors involved in the trade in cultural property, including, but not limited to, auction houses, art dealers, art collectors and museum professionals, are required to provide verifiable documentation of provenance as well as export certificates related to any cultural property imported, exported or offered for sale, including through the Internet
The abuses of the antiquities trade have gone on long enough. Anyone who, 45 years on, has ignored the implications of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, and 45 years of discussion resulting from it and filled their stockrooms and collections with junk coins and junk artefacts which cannot be verified as licit, deserve to be stuck with them for the rest of their lives. Let us see how much they want to 'care for' and 'preserve' the artefacts they cannot profit from. Meanwhile those dealers and collectors that paid attention to the paperwork when they had a chance to will not be affected, indeed the value of the 'papered' objects will most likely sharply increase in coming years as standards are tightened and we get a truly responsible, transparent and accountable antiquities trade. That should be everybody's aim, even the dealers - however much they may be unwilling to play along and accept the consequences of their own past actions.

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