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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Native American Collection Goes to Peabody Essex Museum… and Back to Tribes

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Native American Collection Goes to Peabody Essex Museum… and Back to Tribes

Native American Collection Goes to Peabody Essex Museum… and Back to Tribes

October 18, 2017. TROUBLED THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL TURNS OVER COLLECTION AFTER FAILURE TO FOLLOW NAGPRA Twenty-seven years after passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), neither the 210 year-old Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) nor the Peabody Essex Museum, which housed the ANTS collection of 1,100 Native American artifacts for over seventy years, had cataloged the collection under NAGPRA or notified possible tribal claimants. According to Peabody Essex director, Dan Monroe, when he heard that the theological school’s board had voted to withdraw eighty items from the museum and sell them, he stepped up to begin the compliance process by notifying hundreds of tribes across the country about the collection. Before that time, according to Monroe, who…

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US Withdraws from UNESCO

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on US Withdraws from UNESCO

US Withdraws from UNESCO

October 17, 2017.  NO CHANGES IN OPERATION OF CPIA OR OTHER US LAW Since the Department of State announcement of the United States’ withdrawal from UNESCO, CCP has received several inquiries regarding the effect of the withdrawal on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) and any requests from UNESCO member-nations. Others have wanted to know if the withdrawal would impact other US laws. The answer to both questions is “no,” it will have no effect. The US cited anti-Israeli bias at UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – and the need for “fundamental reform” of the organization in its October 12, 2017 notification to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. The US has mounting arrears in its dues…

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Antiques & Elephants: Changes to UK Ivory Law

Posted by on Oct 15, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Antiques & Elephants: Changes to UK Ivory Law

Antiques & Elephants: Changes to UK Ivory Law

October 15, 2017.   UK GOV’T SEEKS INPUT ON LAW TO BAN IVORY SALES A proposed UK law could ban the sale of virtually all items containing ivory. The law would affect England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As of October 6, 2017, The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking feedback from collectors, trade and the public on the proposed legislation through an online ‘consultation.’ Responses must be made before December 29, 2017. Comments can be submitted here. Input from the art and antiques community is especially important. The Defra has acknowledged that data on the trade is difficult to obtain. Knowledgeable and experienced dealers have an opportunity through the ‘consult’ to make the facts clear….

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Statement of the Committee for Cultural Policy on Renewal of MOU with Cambodia

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Statement of the Committee for Cultural Policy on Renewal of MOU with Cambodia

Statement of the Committee for Cultural Policy on Renewal of MOU with Cambodia

Filed with the Department of State on October 14, 2017 Meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) in Review of the Proposed 5 Year Extension of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia on Import Restrictions on Khmer Archaeological Material, October 23, 2017. Submitted by Kate Fitz Gibbon, Executive Director, Committee for Cultural Policy, Inc. This statement is made on behalf of the Committee for Cultural Policy (CCP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2011 by concerned museum professionals, legal scholars, art collectors and traders in antiquities, ethnographic, and Asian art. CCP’s goal is to educate and inform the public, encourage a balanced cultural policy,…

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Land Grab at 3rd Millennium Site in Gaza – Hamas versus Heritage

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Land Grab at 3rd Millennium Site in Gaza – Hamas versus Heritage

Land Grab at 3rd Millennium Site in Gaza – Hamas versus Heritage

October 8, 2017.  HAMAS ORDERS ERECTION OF HIGHRISES AND MILITARY BASE ON BRONZE AGE SITE OF TELL ES-SAKAN IN GAZA.  The oldest documented Egyptian walled city, Tell Es-Sakan, was found by accident in Gaza in 1988, during deep trenching for the foundations for several high-rise buildings. Construction was halted for archaeological teams to begin excavation. French and Palestinian archeologists Pierre de Miroschedji and Mouin Sadeq discovered the remnants of a Canaanite/Egyptian city that existed over 4,500 years ago – before the pharaohs came to power and 1,000 years prior to the pyramids. The find “profoundly changed [the] understanding of the relations between the Southern Levant and Egypt in the early periods.” reported archeologist Pierre de Miroschedji on The Palestine Exploration…

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Pompeii’s Director Breaks Archaeological Traditions

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Pompeii’s Director Breaks Archaeological Traditions

Pompeii’s Director Breaks Archaeological Traditions

October 5, 2017. ARTISTS TO CREATE NEW WORKS FROM ANCIENT FRAGMENTS A fusion of contemporary and ancient artworks will soon be created from the ruins of Pompeii. The ancient city, smothered in the ashes of Vesuvius, is the source of archaeological fragments that will be incorporated into contemporary artworks. An exhibition, Pompeii at Madre: Archaeological Material, includes a project for contemporary artists, who will work in summer 2018 with pieces of pottery and marble fragments of statues to create new sculptures and installation pieces. The intent is not to destroy the ancient elements, but to surround, build around, and utilize them to allow a new creative expression to emerge. As director-general of the Pompeii Archeological Park, Massimo Osanna, told Hannah…

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Theft of Viking Treasure Devastates Norwegian Museum

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Theft of Viking Treasure Devastates Norwegian Museum

Theft of Viking Treasure Devastates Norwegian Museum

October 4, 2017. WATCH SET FOR STOLEN OBJECTS Sometime over the August 11-13th weekend, 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 objects were in temporary storage; museum staff had planned to move them to a more secure location the following week. Although alarms had sounded twice over the weekend of the theft, security guards reported that there was nothing suspicious. Museum staff discovered the pieces missing when they returned to work on Monday. The artifacts, included book fittings, jewelry, keys, buckles and coins discovered in Viking graves from the Norwegian counties of Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Rogaland and…

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Italian Wine-making: Older and More Mysterious

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Italian Wine-making: Older and More Mysterious

Italian Wine-making: Older and More Mysterious

October 3, 2017. ANCIENT CAVE COMPLEX IN SICILY YIELDS OLDEST EVIDENCE OF WINE IN ENTIRE ITALIAN PENINSULA. Italian wine-making is far older than previously thought, although not quite as ancient as found in a recent exhibition on Georgia (see Exhibition: Ancient Roots of Wine-making in Georgia, Committee for Cultural Policy, August 10, 2017). Researchers at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa have analyzed the residue from Copper Age jars from in a cave discovered in Agrigento in Sicily in 2012. Their conclusions pushed back the earliest date of Italian wine-making to 3,000 years earlier than previously known – to a time within the 4th millennium B.C. Although still not the oldest evidence that humans consumed the fermented juice of…

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Gilded Egyptian Coffin Acquired by Metropolitan Museum

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in ArtNews | Comments Off on Gilded Egyptian Coffin Acquired by Metropolitan Museum

Gilded Egyptian Coffin Acquired by Metropolitan Museum

October 2, 2017.   GOLD COFFIN OF NEDJEMANKH NOW GRACES LILA ACHESON WALLACE GALLERIES An ancient Egyptian object has received a celebrated place in a great US museum. Despite a history of demands from the source country for repatriation of virtually all artifacts, the acquisition is a rare occasion in which no claim has come from Egypt. On September 12, 2017, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it had acquired an intricately decorated gilded mummiform coffin from the Late Ptolemaic Period – around the first century B.C. The lid of the cartonnage coffin is now displayed prominently in the Museum’s renowned Lila Acheson Wallace Galleries for Egyptian Art (gallery 138). The coffin’s provenance is well documented: “The coffin was…

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