Subscribe to our Newsletter

Art News

The Art News blog on Antiquities, Archaeology, Art Collecting, Art Education, Events, Exhibitions, Museums, and More…

Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities

Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities

CCP – Bearing False Witness-The Media, ISIS and Antiquities A Committee for Cultural Policy Special Report December 1, 2017 “We have beautiful heroines, we have bad guys, we have supporters, we have the terrorists.” Deborah Lehr of the Antiquities Coalition, speaking to the Middle East Institute, April 24, 2014[2] Introduction Pockmarked satellite images of cultural heritage sites in Syria and Iraq incontrovertibly show a pandemic of destruction.  What these images do not show us is whether any antiquities were found in these holes in the ground, if what was found had monetary value, or where these objects are going. A campaign, based on hype and hysteria, without verifiable documentation of ISIS–connected illegal sales or analysis of legitimate market data, has…

read more

Puma Graffitis Indian Monuments

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Puma Graffitis Indian Monuments

Puma Graffitis Indian Monuments

November 30, 2017.  TAJ MAHAL ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?  HERITAGE POLICIES CREATE UNCERTAINTY. The Indian government appears confused about the heritage protections given to architectural works of the Mughal period. Earlier this year the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Taj Mahal is located, dropped India’s most famous building from its tourism brochure and its budget. The state had neglected the building for years partly because of its Muslim origin – its builder was the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Now India is outraged that sportswear company Puma spray painted graffiti on 17th century buildings (one also constructed by Shah Jahan) to make a gritty, hip-hop commercial for its “Suede Gully” shoe line. Anti-Muslim Bias Expressed in Heritage Management The Taj…

read more

Egyptian Coptic Museum Overlooked

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Egyptian Coptic Museum Overlooked

Egyptian Coptic Museum Overlooked

November 30, 2017.  CAIRO MUSEUM OF COPTIC HERITAGE SEEKS FUNDING, STAFF, VISITORS A little known Coptic museum in Egypt would like more visitors, more money and a better security system. Egypt’s disorganized museum and antiquities cultural management system has left a small museum dedicated to Egypt’s Coptic heritage barely hanging on. Cairo’s Coptic Museum holds one of the largest collections of Coptic artifacts in the world, but it is overshadowed by the more glamorous and popular museums dedicated to Egyptian Pharaonic history. While over a billion dollars has been spent on Egypt’s new Grand Egyptian Museum (75% of the funding provided through loans from Japan), less favored museums have been left behind. The Copts are an ethno-religious group in Egypt…

read more

Ritual Experience in New London Mithraeum

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Ritual Experience in New London Mithraeum

Ritual Experience in New London Mithraeum

November 30, 2017.  A multisensory exhibit incorporating light, sound, haze, and shadow over reconstructed ruins is bringing an ancient temple for the worship of the Roman god Mithras alive for modern visitors. The London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE opened its doors on November 14th in Bloomberg’s new London headquarters. In addition to the Mithras temple, the Bloomberg SPACE highlights artifacts found during its excavation, as well as contemporary artwork commissioned to “respond” to the archeological site. The temple devoted to the youthful god Mithras has been one of London’s most important archeological sites since its discovery in 1954 during post WWII rebuilding efforts.  At that time, over 400,000 people came to marvel at a Roman Mithrian temple site in the middle…

read more

Bible Museum Opens in US Capitol

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Bible Museum Opens in US Capitol

Bible Museum Opens in US Capitol

November 29, 2017.  INNOVATIVE MUSEUM AIMS TO ENGAGE PUBLIC WITH HIGH-TECH DISPLAYS. November marked the opening of both the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and a Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.  Like everything else in Washington, the museum opening has political overtones. North Carolina’s Representative Robert Pittenger introduced a concurrent resolution in Congress on its opening day, recognizing the opening of the museum, and citing the Christian Bible’s special significance in the history of the United States. The resolution has 35 co-sponsors as of this writing. The opening followed a black tie gala at the Trump International Hotel the previous evening. The $500 million Museum of the Bible sits just three blocks from the nation’s…

read more

Report: Ancestors Return to Indigenous Peoples

Posted by on Nov 25, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Report: Ancestors Return to Indigenous Peoples

Report: Ancestors Return to Indigenous Peoples

November 25, 2017.  Autumn 2017 has seen a wave of returns of Native American human remains and funerary objects from institutional collections to tribes across the United States for burial. It has been nearly thirty years since NAGPRA, the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, passed into law. NAGPRA requires consultation with Native American tribes when human remains are discovered in the course of archaeological digs or construction projects, but its key provisions enable tribes to request that human remains or funerary artifacts in the collections of institutions receiving federal funding be returned to the tribe. Unfortunately, the returns process is often complicated by uncertainty about the tribal origin of objects in museum collections, by lack of funding,…

read more

Two Sides to Louvre Abu Dhabi Opening

Posted by on Nov 25, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Two Sides to Louvre Abu Dhabi Opening

Two Sides to Louvre Abu Dhabi Opening

November 25, 2017.   A BRILLIANT NEW MUSEUM ALSO FACES CLAIMS OF PAST ABUSE. The Louvre Abu Dhabi (LAD) opened on November 11, 2017 with three days of celebration. Tickets sold out for the opening day, LAD honored educators with workshops and LAD resources for their classrooms, Malian singer, dancer, musician and actress Fatoumata Diawara and French-Lebanese world musician Ibrahim Maalouf performed at the opening of the first “universal museum in the Arab world.”  With an emphasis on bringing the world’s culture to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),  the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of five museums planned for Saadiyat Island’s cultural district to be completed. The concept of the Louvre Abu Dhabi began with an intergovernmental agreement between France…

read more

Norwegian Viking Treasure Found

Posted by on Nov 20, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Norwegian Viking Treasure Found

Norwegian Viking Treasure Found

November 20, 2017.  Nearly three months after thieves climbed up scaffolding to the seventh floor of the University Museum of Bergen, Norway, broke a window, and stole 400 Viking artifacts from the Cultural History Collections, the majority of the objects have been returned. Asbjørn Engevik, the head of the Department of Cultural History Collections at the museum said that the return of the artifacts marked “a day of joy for us.” Engevik also said that the museum staff were working hard to figure out what had been found and what was still missing before returning the objects to the display. According to a report on the University of Bergen website, in early October a man walked into a Bergen police station…

read more

Colorful Classical Statues Still Surprise Us

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Colorful Classical Statues Still Surprise Us

Colorful Classical Statues Still Surprise Us

CCP contributor Mariam Hale asks why. November 19, 2017.   The November 2017 opening in San Francisco of an updated version of the 2003 Munich Glyptotek’s Bunte Götter or Gods in Color, was a shock to the senses of museum viewers. The original Glyptotek show was the first major public exhibition of recreations of classical statues in their original colors. Greek and Roman artists did not consider their sculptures complete until they had been brilliantly painted. The ancient Greeks would have found the stark white marble sculptures displayed in our museums as disturbing as these painted plaster reproductions are to modern audiences. Innovative techniques pioneered by Vincenz and Ulricke Brinkmann, along with an international team of researchers, revealed the original condition…

read more

Pakistan Museum Trashes Ancient Statues

Posted by on Nov 18, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Pakistan Museum Trashes Ancient Statues

Pakistan Museum Trashes Ancient Statues

November 18, 2017.  “For the last many months I have seen these sculptures lying in the garbage,” says National Museum employee. The fate of ancient Buddhist artifacts in Pakistan’s museums once again made headlines after Gandharan period stone statues were discovered in a rubbish pile, visible from the street, at the National Museum in Karachi, Pakistan. The statues, which are said to be from the 3rd-5th century, have traveled from their original site, somewhere in Northwest Pakistan, to the Awami Colony in Karachi, where they were recovered from a  Pakistani smuggling ring in 2012 , and finally to a trash heap at the National Museum.  Two of the five statues were used to decorate the doorway of the antiquities director-general’s…

read more

2017 STOP Act May Overturn Native American Art Policy

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on 2017 STOP Act May Overturn Native American Art Policy

2017 STOP Act May Overturn Native American Art Policy

November 16, 2017.   Will Senate Criminalize Export, Rollback Private Property Protections for Collectors and Museums? On November 8, 2017, three organizations representing the interests of collectors, the art trade, and museums gave written testimony to a hearing at the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs. The Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2017, or STOP Act (S. 1400, HR 3211) would affect thousands of collectors of American Indian art, Indian artisans, and businesses throughout the Southwest. ATADA, the Committee for Cultural Policy, and Global Heritage Alliance provided critical perspectives on the bill, which threatens the trade in Native American art, and will hamper museums in their efforts to protect and share Native art and culture. If passed, STOP would impose…

read more

100 Year Negotiation Won’t Bring Books Home

Posted by on Nov 12, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on 100 Year Negotiation Won’t Bring Books Home

100 Year Negotiation Won’t Bring Books Home

November 12, 2017.  RUSSIA WILL KEEP JEWISH COLLECTOR’S LIBRARY, BUT PERMIT DIGITIZATION When Russian Zionists bought Baron David Günzburg’s collection of 2,000 manuscripts and 14,000 books from his widow in 1917, they had no idea it would take one hundred years for the collection to come close to residing in a Jewish academic institution, in accordance with the Baron’s wish. Three generations of the Günzburg family assembled the collection: Joseph Günzburg (1812-1878), his son Horace (1833-1909), and most significantly, Horace’s son, Baron David Günzburg (1857-1910). Baron David Günzburg was an Orientalist and Jewish community leader. His wide-ranging interests in Judaic studies, philology, medieval Arabic poetry, and Hebrew literature inspired him to develop the library into “one of the largest and…

read more

CCP Testifies to Senate on STOP Act

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in ArtNews, Commentary | Comments Off on CCP Testifies to Senate on STOP Act

CCP Testifies to Senate on STOP Act

Committee for Cultural Policy[i], Written Testimony submitted to U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, on the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2017 S.1400 (STOP Act) S. 1400, November 8, 2017 Mr. Chairman, my name is Kate Fitz Gibbon and I am the Executive Director of the Committee for Cultural Policy, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the American public and urging an open discourse as the foundation of a balanced cultural policy in the US. The Committee for Cultural Policy supports museums and the museum mission to preserve, research, and display art and artifacts for the public benefit. We support the lawful circulation of art and artifacts, as Congress did in enacting the 1983 Convention of Cultural Property Act and…

read more

Report: US Gives China License to Loot

Posted by on Nov 5, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Report: US Gives China License to Loot

Report: US Gives China License to Loot

November 7, 2017.  U.S. POLICY ENCOURAGES CHINA’S MONOPOLY ON ART SALES; 500% AUCTION GROWTH INSIDE CHINA MOCKS U.S. CULTURAL PROPERTY RESTRICTIONS November 11, 2017.  A booming market for Chinese artwork and antiquities in Mainland China makes a mockery of a US-China agreement in place since 2009 and due for renewal in 2018. The same objects restricted from import into the US are now sold in galleries and at auction right next door to the People’s Republic in semi-independent Hong Kong – where in 2016, almost $900 million in Chinese art sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions alone – accounting for 46 percent of sales of Chinese arts and antiques “overseas.”[1] Since 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the People’s…

read more

CCP Welcomes Global Heritage Alliance, a new Cultural Policy Advocacy Organization

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on CCP Welcomes Global Heritage Alliance, a new Cultural Policy Advocacy Organization

CCP Welcomes Global Heritage Alliance, a new Cultural Policy Advocacy Organization

November 3, 2017.  The Committee for Cultural Policy (CCP) welcomes a new sister organization, Global Heritage Alliance (GHA) to the cultural policy world. GHA is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization representing the interests of collectors, museums and the trade. Global Heritage Alliance’s stated priorities are to “restore balance in U.S. government policy in favor of fostering appreciation of ancient and indigenous cultures and the preservation of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts for the education and enjoyment of the American public” and to “promote responsible collecting and stewardship of archaeological and ethnological objects.” GHA will advocate for its priorities in front of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the US Government. Since its formation, GHA has already submitted testimony to the U.S….

read more

China: New Theory Overturns Opium Wars as Cause of Century of Humiliation

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on China: New Theory Overturns Opium Wars as Cause of Century of Humiliation

China: New Theory Overturns Opium Wars as Cause of Century of Humiliation

October 31, 2017.  50 YEARS OF RESEARCH AND 2 MILLION COINS HELP TO REWRITE CHINA’S ECONOMIC HISTORY Dr. Werner Burger’s two-volume book Ch’ing Cash, makes the case that the decline of China’s Qing dynasty was not caused by the draining of silver through the opium trade, but by  a complete lack of understanding in the Qing administration of how monetary systems should be managed. Dr. Burger’s extraordinary and meticulous research has spanned fifty years, he has had unprecedented access to the raw materials for his study in the form of a personal collection of seven tons of Qing dynasty cash coins, stored in a 5,000 square-foot warehouse in Hong Kong, and during his research, there was a fortuitous discovery of…

read more

Dubious Data on Cambodia: A Second Opinion

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Dubious Data on Cambodia: A Second Opinion

Dubious Data on Cambodia: A Second Opinion

October 31, 2017.   DUBIOUS DATA & FALSE IMPRESSIONS FROM THE ANTIQUITIES COALITION An advance report authored by Ms. Katie Paul is circulating on the Antiquities Coalition website and was presented in public testimony to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting on the request for renewal of import restrictions by Cambodia. The report not only illustrates how easy it is to tell half the story to advance an agenda – but also how easy it is to challenge it. CCP spent an hour or so on the Internet after listening to Ms. Paul’s statement to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, in which she asserted that there was a substantial US market for Cambodian antiquities, based upon online research at the…

read more

NY Cops Seize Panel with 70 Years Provenance

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on NY Cops Seize Panel with 70 Years Provenance

NY Cops Seize Panel with 70 Years Provenance

October 30, 2017.   Crusade Against the Art Trade: Where Will It End? A prosecutor from the New York County District Attorney’s office walked into the booth of English art dealer Rupert Wace at the gala opening of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at New York’s Park Avenue Armory on October 27. He was holding a search warrant and accompanied by uniformed police officers, who seized a limestone bas relief from Persepolis in Iran. The relief was worth $1.2 million. Wace had purchased it from an insurance company, which had acquired it from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The New York District Attorney’s office, under the aggressive direction of DA Cyrus Vance and dedicated anti-art trade crusader Assistant DA Matthew…

read more

Tsirogiannis: Master of the Blame-Game Goes After Frieze Masters

Posted by on Oct 28, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Tsirogiannis: Master of the Blame-Game Goes After Frieze Masters

Tsirogiannis: Master of the Blame-Game Goes After Frieze Masters

October 28, 2017.  SLEUTH ‘TRAPS’ SWISS CANTON WITH LEGAL TITLE IN HIS NET Christos Tsirogiannis, the media savvy ‘sleuth’ who uses secret police files available only to him to identify artworks associated with discredited dealers, has struck again. Tsirogiannis generated headlines when he announced that two vases in a booth at the Frieze Masters art fair in London were once associated with Sicilian dealer Gianfranco Becchina. The announcement turned out to be a pointless exercise that did nothing to recover any lost artworks, but only disrupted an attempt by Swiss authorities to collect a debt. The two lekythoi identified as being at one time in Becchina’s inventory were being sold on consignment by the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, which was attempting…

read more

New Art Law for India?

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on New Art Law for India?

New Art Law for India?

October 27, 2017.  Is the Antiquities and Art Treasures Regulation, Export and Import Control Bill, 2017, a Cure? India’s antiquities laws are widely regarded – in India – as failing to serve the nation’s most basic requirements for administering cultural heritage. Current laws are mired in a veritable swamp of bureaucracy. There are thousands of Indian communities with important sites that are left unprotected. Communication between the central administration, government archaeologists, customs, police, and local officials is abysmally lacking – at times nonexistent. (There are plenty of reports detailing these problems and suggesting remedies. For example, CAG report (Report No 18 of 2013) –  Performance Audit of Preservation and Conservation of Monuments and Antiquities (See Note 1 below for a…

read more