Tuesday 19 March 2013

"Red Flags in Paris: Sotheby’s Barbier-Mueller Pre-Colombian Sale

Guest blogger M. Frechette has an astute piece on the Chasing Aphrodite blog: "Red Flags in Paris: Half of Sotheby’s Barbier-Mueller Pre-Colombian Sale Lacks Provenance" 19th March 2013.  "During her travels in Latin America, Frechette grew frustrated with the lack of native archeological material in national museums compared to the artifacts circulating on the North American and European markets". Frechette notes that "almost half (119 out of 246) of the artifacts from present-day Latin America have no stated provenance before 1970" ("Of the 11 painted Maya vessels from Guatemala and Mexico, nine have no listed provenance before 1986"). In her post she links the rise of looting and the increased demands of the collectors' market, and also points out that many of the objects in the Barbier collection are representatives of the types included in several existing Red Lists.

The sale of the Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian Art takes place  at Sotheby’s Paris on March 22nd.

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