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1) Forum and Dreweatts to create new powerhouse

Stephan Ludwig and Ben Clark

Forum founder Stephan Ludwig (left) joins the board of Gurr Johns and will work with Ben Clark (right) as co-chief executives of the group.

Gurr Johns acquires London works on paper specialist Forum Auctions in market shake-up.

2) New York collector given lifetime ban after four-year antiquities investigation

One of New York’s most prolific antiquities collectors has surrendered 180 ‘looted’ items from his collection and been barred for life from acquiring antiquities again.

Ercolano Fresco

One of the items seized by New York’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit. The Ercolano Fresco, depicting an infant Hercules strangling a snake sent by Hera to slay him, is thought to have been looted in 1995 from a Roman villa in the ruins of Herculaneum. It was purchased from Robert Hecht for $650,000 in November 1995.

3) Rare 17th century English School allegorical painting barred from export in hope it is saved for the nation

The UK government has issued a temporary export bar for a rare 17th century painting depicting a black female sitter alongside her white companion.

English School double portrait

The English School double portrait, c.1650 which has been temporarily blocked from export from the UK.

4) The record £16m love affair with Aphrodite

More than 70 years after it was last seen in public, an Imperial Roman sculpture dubbed ‘The Hamilton Aphrodite’ has set a record for any ancient marble at auction.


‘The Hamilton Aphrodite’ sold for £16m at Sotheby’s.

5) Getty Museum buys an ‘Elgin marble’ – but not a Greek one

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angles has acquired an early first-century marble bust of the Roman general Germanicus, the adopted son of the Emperor Tiberius and father of Caligula.

Bust of Germanicus

The bust of Germanicus acquired by the Getty Museum.

This list is based on unique users for individual news stories over the period December 9-15, 2021.