Wednesday 18 June 2014

Ka Nefer Nefer the Wrong Approach?

Dick Ellis, retired police officer from Scotland Yard, slammed the US government lawyers contesting the Ka Nefer Nefer case for their amateurish approach ( see the ARCA blog for a transcript and subsequent discussion: ' The Legal Case of the Mummy Mask of Lady Ka-nefer-nefer at the St. Louis Art Museum Ignites Discussion on Museum Security Network'). Members are wondering whether there is a reason the US authorities did not attempt to accuse a US-based dealer of selling what they alleged was stolen property, but instead went after a museum for buying it. After all, the allegation is that this was stolen after 1966 from the stores of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo itself. If nothing else this seems another manifestation of the "restitution complex" which dominates the field in the US, where graciously handing some stuff stuff back for kudos points is seen as the target, while apprehending the network of cultural racketeers almost never is contemplated as the aim of a cultural property investigation.

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