Wednesday 6 May 2020

UK Customs stop Fake antiquities from Bahrain Entering UK

From the same factory
as the ones seized?
(UK seller on eBay)
The international market has been awash with forgeries for a very long time, and all over the world when customs officers stop shipments at the border, they find the imported goods are the usual sort of crap that fill private collections. As was the case just now in the UK (Martin Bailey 'Two trunkloads of fake Iraqi antiquities seized by UK customs' The Art Newspaper 5th May 2020)
UK customs officials have impounded two trunkloads of forged Iraqi antiquities. Numbering 190 items, they represent a wide variety of objects, including clay tablets, figurines, cylinder seals and animal-shaped pots. British Museum curator St John Simpson believes the consignment was probably intended for an individual collector in the UK, rather than for dispersal via the internet. He says that [...] there are “far more fakes than genuine Middle Eastern antiquities on sale” [...] Since genuine pieces are now difficult for criminals to source, they have moved on to making copies and passing them off as originals. [...] The seized consignment will remain at the British Museum.
I'd be interested to learn under which piece of UK legislation. Also it is worth noting the idea that criminals in the Middle East can't get the stuff that was dug up in huge quantities since the 1990s. So, who is sitting on the latter? ("Yeah, OK, I DID buy some dodgy stuff and tried to have it smuggled into the country, but at least my smuggler was not the kind of dealer that had contacts with the guys that have got the real stuff!")

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