Saturday 30 March 2013

Latest Ruling in Koh Ker Sotheby's Statue case

The latest development in the case of United States of America v. A 10th Century Cambodian Sandstone Sculpture Currently Located at Sotheby's, is that a New York District court judge is allowing the case to proceed, having denied Sotheby’s motion to dismiss the claim brought on behalf of Cambodia by the US government. The case concerns the knocked-off Koh Ker statue currently held on behalf of Mrs Ruspoli Di Poggio Suasa.  George B. Daniels dismissed several of Sotheby’s key arguments and ruled on Thursday that the government has “sufficiently pled facts regarding Sotheby’s knowledge that the Statue was stolen at the time of import into the United States.” He also found the government had presented sufficient evidence that the British collector who initially sold the statue, “knew the statue had been looted from Koh Ker.”   He is allowing federal prosecutors to amend their forfeiture complaint concerning the National Stolen Property Act. 

According to the Judge's 18-page ruling:
Sotheby's was aware of the origin of the Statue, that it had been broken off at the ankles, and it first appeared on the international art market during a period of rampant looting of antiquities from Koh Ker. Sotheby's has a particular expertise in works from India and Southeast Asia, including extensive experience in the sale of Khmer artifacts. Sotheby's consulted regularly with the Collector and knew him to be the original seller of the Statue in 1975. The Collector knew that the Statue had been looted from Koh Ker, and had trouble selling it in 1975 because many prospective buyers were unwilling to purchase it due to its lack of legitimate provenance and missing feet. Subsequent to import, Sotheby's was expressly advised that the Cambodians had clear evidence that the Statue was definitely stolen. Sotheby's is alleged to have provided inaccurate provenance information and omitted information about the Collector who acquired the Statue in Sotheby's communications with potential buyers, the Kingdom of Cambodia, and United States law enforcement. Accepting all of these fact as true for the purposes of the parties' motions gives rise to a reasonable inference that Sotheby's knew that the Statue was stolen at the time of import and thereafter.  
Adam Klasfield, 'Discovery Slated in Suit Over Cambodian Statue', Courthouse News Service Friday, March 29, 2013

Rick St Hilaire, 'Cambodian Statue Forfeiture Case Moves Forward - Sotheby's Motion to Dismiss is Denied', March 29, 2013.

Chasing Aphrodite blog, 'BREAKING: Judge rules in favor of Cambodia, Denies Sotheby’s Motion to Dismiss Claim to Khmer Statue', March 29, 2013

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.