Antiquitäten-Handler "Geldschnappen und Lauf" (Hochstaplerstrasse 666 Munich) have a Middle Eastern statue in their stockroom. "All our goods are guaranteed authentic and of legal origins" the catalogue says. That sounds reassuring. Until you find out what the dealer says is "impossible to determine" in this case, they consist of the following:
- the name and the address of the consigner they bought it from,
- its provenance and recent collecting history
- any records documenting the legal import and the export or even when it happened,
- the dealer in any case has not the foggiest idea of the relevant cultural property law of Iraq,
- has no idea whether or not the object is registered in publicly accessible lists and data bases,
- has no signed declaration of the consigner or the vendor that he is authorized to dispose of the goods,
- cannot provide the buyer with his entire documentation, for he has absolutely none.
This is what German dealers are saying (to a man?) is "impossible" to provide for any object they have handled.
My question is, in what way therefore can are any of these objects be claimed to be licit antiquities other than "because I say so"? Bonkers.
The dealers apparently have zero idea how ridiculous they are beginning to sound. Or perhaps they have, look through the current list of signatories of the Sheep Petition and see how many dealer' names you can actual;ly recognize there. Is there a reason, do you think that they seem to be keeping away allowing the signatures to be added by the collectors they have egged on. If anyone doubts what I say, let them supply as a comment here a long list of dealers' names from among the petition's signatories.
I am gratified that my favourite German coin dealer's name is missing from the list. Let her keep it off, this is below her, and adding it would rather devalue all that she claimed about her own business practices and I believed. What about the rest? What do they represent?