Thursday 28 February 2013

Peru Claims "Art" Planned for Sotheby’s Auction

Peru’s government is seeking to use diplomatic and legal avenues to recover about 67 pieces of "art" (including archaeological objects from the Inca and Chimu cultures) being sold by Sotheby’s (BID) in Paris in March. The sale involves items from the private Barbier-Mueller collection. Peru makes the accusation that the items were taken out of Peru without proper permission decades ago.
 Sotheby’s will auction about 300 works from Mexico, and Central and South America from the Barbier-Mueller collection, which the auction house says has pieces “representative of all the leading Pre-Columbian cultures.” The Peruvian government says that it has no information about how the pieces left Peru for the collection. “It is possible to deduce that their exportation must have been clandestine, given that from April 2, 1822 Peruvian regulations prohibit the removing of archaeological goods without government authorization,” the Ministry of Culture said. [...] Sotheby’s said in an email that [...] “The works in the Barbier-Mueller collection have long ownership and exhibition histories, and matters like this relating to ancient artifacts typically depend on precise facts about the historical background of individual pieces” [...]. 
Robert Kozak, "Peru’s Government Seeks to Recover Art Planned for Sotheby’s Auction", Wall Street Journal February 28, 2013.

Vignette: The creator of the collection Jean-Paul Barbier - Mueller

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