Sunday 5 April 2020

Dealers are using German auction houses to whitewash relic trade

David Crossland, Dealers are using German auction houses to whitewash relic trade, top art investigator says, Times April 06 2020.
Dealers are using auction houses in Germany — one of the largest markets for illegally exported Middle Eastern antiquities — to “whitewash” objects for resale around the world, [...] the country is a black market hot spot in part because of its large immigrant community from Turkey and the Middle East, which has contacts in the region, but also because its strict laws protect collectors. A research report last month said that only 2.1 per cent of more than 6,000 artefacts on sale in Germany from 2015 to 2018 had verifiable paperwork.
That's one artefact in 50 sold in Germany. It is not just Middle Eastern stuff, I've just completed a small project looking at the trade in North African prehistoric items and trade of such things through Germany is pretty vigorous - despite the laws. One seller lists a whole lot of ancient lithic material in the Natural History collecting (Rocks, fossils and minerals) section, under the subsection 'mammut', to get round the legislation. Others sell through rather than probably for the same reason. Despite declarative denials, dealers are often devious devils doing dodgy things to deviate from the principles of responsible antiquities dealing dealing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank Goodness that the many 'Objects' offered for sale by Timeline Auctions most often have such good provenance! ''Property of a lady'' ''Property of a gentleman'' From the family collections of a South East London collector''etc, etc.

Jamie Corrigan

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