Saturday, 14 November 2015

Gill: RIGOROUS Due Diligence Matters

"Doing due diligence" is not enough, David Gill points out (Friday, November 13, 2015, 'Rigorous Due Diligence Matters'). He points out the implications of the exposing of recently surfaced material found in the  Schinousa and the Becchina archives and despite that coming onto the market through 'reputable' (ahem) auction houses in Europe (including London) and North America.
at the time of acquisition there does not seem to have been documented and authenticated evidence that the objects had been circulating in the period before the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Oral histories and incomplete paperwork seem to have been acceptable (and can now be shown in some cases to have been falsified). The fact that this same material continues to surface on the market at very regular intervals suggests that some auction houses and dealers do not appear to be taking the matter seriously.
In the light of "continuing concerns about the potential for material derived from some of Rome's eastern provinces to be surfacing on the market at the present time", he asks:
To what extent have the due diligence processes been tightened? What safeguards have been put in place to ensure that the paperwork was been checked? The due diligence process for antiquities needs to be sufficiently rigorous to prevent so-called illicit material from entering the market.
The antiquities market of the 21st century cannot continue to function as if it were still the nineteenth. I do not see any cogent arguments saying otherwise from the carelessly-acquiring, document-dodging, document-discarding and docuement-losing part antiquities market, do you?

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