Wednesday, 30 March 2016

How to tell a Looted Object?

Today's UNESCO roundtable 1 has a (deliberately? and deliciously) ambiguous title: "The Difficulty of Establishing Provenance for Cultural Objects Issued [sic] from Plundered Archaeological Sites". One inference is that there would be no reason to hide the collecting history of licitly-acquired items when that licitness derives precisely from that unimpeachable collecting history, but it is above all in the case of illicit (looted, stolen or smuggled) items that the object's origins need to be obscured.


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