Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Dirty Business of Antiquity

Das schmutzige Geschäft mit der Antike [The Dirty Business of Antiquity] By Günther Wessel Reviewed by Jens Notroff (Berlin) , Anonymous Swiss Collector, 19th September 2015:
"One thing is clear: there just are not two separated antiquities markets, a clean ‘white’ and a shady ‘black’ one operating independently of each other. There is just one big ‘grey’ market. Or, as Oscar White Muscarella (a strict critic of the antiquities trade and former staff member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) worded rather belligerently in Wessel’s book: “Each antiquity on the market is either looted or forged.” [...] We not only need a public discussion, but a public campaign even to ostracize the trade in antiquities. Michael Müller-Karpe from the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (Romano-Germanic Central Museum) in Mainz found drastic words to illustrate the situation (Müller-Karpe was actually sued for this statement):
He who buys antiquities of unclear origin does not only support destruction of culture due to sponsoring illicit excavations. He also has to realize that a lot of those antiquities offered on the market have blood on them
Günther Wessel’s book is a good start to spread this word".
Jens is here and here

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