Tuesday, 26 July 2022

French Archaeologists Held for Questioning Over Antiquities


Two high-ranking archaeologists and curators are being held for questioning by French investigators as part of a probe into a global art-trafficking scandal that has implicated the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Met, and former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez. The pair are suspected of negligently advising the Louvre Abu Dhabi to purchase artworks with unclear provenance (Devorah Lauter, French Authorities Detain Two Archaeologists, Including a Louvre Curator, as Part of an Ongoing International Art-Trafficking Dragnet ArtNet NewsJuly 25, 2022).

Jean-François Charnier and Noëmi Daucé are suspected of ignoring warnings about the questionable provenance of at least two allegedly stolen Egyptian antiquities worth millions, and urging the Louvre Abu Dhabi to acquire them, according to the French daily Liberation. The pair are suspected of negligence when they worked at the private Agence France-Muséums (AFM), which was tasked with certifying the legality and provenance of ancient antiquities for the Louvre Abu Dhabi in time for its opening in 2017. The two experts worked alongside former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez, the former Louvre director who was president of the AFM’s scientific committee from 2013 to 2021 while also heading the famed museum. In May, Martinez was charged in France with “complicity of gang fraud and laundering” in the tangled trafficking case, which is being investigated in cooperation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Though Martinez claims his innocence, the French government suspended his duties related to art trafficking, within his role as a cultural heritage ambassador in June.
Daucé currently works as a curator at the Louvre in Paris and Charnier is now an advisor at French cultural agency, Afalula, for the cultural development of Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula region.
Liberation also reported that authorities found several “abnormal” deposits made to Charnier’s bank account between 2016 and 2018 from a Belgian auction house run by brothers Ali and Hicham Aboutaam [...], The Aboutaam brothers also sold several works to the Louvre Abu Dhabi via Charnier, according to the French daily.

1 comment:

Brian Mattick said...

Good Lord, imagine RECORDING stuff with unclear provenance, as in "I found it at a rally, honest".

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.