Friday 30 January 2015

Quiet About Aureus

Operation Aureus began in the second week of November 2014 and some of the results are now being announced in the international media. This was an international operation supported by Europol to prevent the theft and trafficking of European cultural property. So it is rather odd that on the blogs and websites associated with the dugup antiquities dealers, there is not even a peep to inform collectors that these raids took place, some people handling the sort of antiquities they buy have been arrested, let alone commenting on the involvement of state security forces instead of the police or other interesting features. For example on the blog of the IAPN and PNG paid lobbyist, coin dealers and metal detectorists (suddenly experts in conservation when it is brown-skinned folk presuming to do the work) are still making a meal of the Tutankhamun glue job. This has every appearance of being an attempt to deflect attention from what is happening on the European antiquities market and the scale of the problems revealed by these early raids. There are, it is reported, more to come. Who will be next? Mr Tompa, any "observations"?


Dave Welsh said...


Paul Barford said...

Yes, when somebody points it out then the dealers "observe" something going on since November last year.

"the biggest practical and ethical problem plaguing the effective management and safeguarding of cultural heritage has been failure of law enforcement to prevent illicit antiquities excavations, trafficking and smuggling at the source, where and when these crimes take place."
No, the ETHICAL Failure is of those who do not take steps avoid buying the products. How does the USA stop looting of sites on BLM land in the Four Corners area, for example and how effective is that? And what about England, Staffordshire hoard field and Catterick, Icklingham and all the other sites targeted by night-time metal detectorists?

"A consequence of this failure has been a perception on the part of some of those involved that the problem can only be dealt with by eliminating the market for antiquities. "
Very few people are saying anything like that. Paper Tiger to avoid discussing the real issue which is the NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED market. And to deal with smuggling and looting, that does have to be eliminated in favour of more transparent, accountable trading, whether or not the ACCG, IAPN and PNG and all the rest want it or not.

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