Thursday 27 November 2014

Steinhardt statue withdrawn

Christie's was due to sell the Steinhardt  Sardinian marble female statue seen by Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis in the Medici archive in their upcoming December 11 New York City sale. According to the ARCA Blog the object has now been withdrawn for further clarification of its 'less than optimal collecting history' as someone put it. Good.  The news aroused a (small) Twitter storm of applause, mostly in Italian.

UPDATE 28 Nov 2014
David Gill sees another aspect to the issue ('Announcing news on Thanksgiving Day'; Looting matters Thursday, November 27, 2014:
But what is surprising is that a major institution like Christie's has not absorbed the lessons of the last eight years in what has become known as "The Medici Conspiracy". Academic researchers now realise that it is important to probe and investigate "collecting histories". And we know that it is important to check the photographic archives that have been seized by the Italian authorities. Staff in the "Ancient Art" department at Christie's need to adopt a more rigorous due diligence process to prevent this type of incident happening again. They ought to recognise that their present process is not "fit for purpose". It is perhaps timely that my next essay in the 'Context Matters' series for the Journal of Art Crime is on this very theme.

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