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Looted Antiquities


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Antiquities stolen from Afghanistan returned with help of British Museum and Met police’s Art and Antiques Unit

12 November 2019

Sculptures of Buddha dating from the 4th-6th centuries smuggled out of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago have finally been returned to the country’s national museum.

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Egypt threat of legal action adds to ‘politicisation’ of antiquities

15 July 2019

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) has said dealers and auctioneers should stand up to “the politicisation of the antiquities trade” in the wake of a row surrounding the sale of a £4m sculpture.

Tutankhamun head at Christie's

Christie’s counters Egypt’s threat to sue over £4m sale of Tutankhamun head

09 July 2019

Christie’s has reiterated that it “carried out extensive due diligence” into a head of Tutankhamun after the Egyptian National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation (NCAR) said that it will instruct a UK law firm to file a lawsuit over its £4m sale.

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EU cultural goods bill is ‘blow’ to market – but full impact may not be felt until 2025

29 April 2019

The art and antiques trade has described the introduction of new controls on the import of cultural goods as a “considerable blow” to the market.

Italian Embassy in London

Christie’s voluntarily returns group of eight looted antiquities to Italy

15 February 2019

A group of eight antiquities that was consigned to Christie’s has been returned to Italy after the works were identified as not having the necessary export and provenance details to be sold.

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Legal landmarks: high-profile cases and incoming legislation to watch out for in 2019

21 December 2018

The arrival of the ivory ban in late 2019 is not the only piece of imminent legislation that the antiques trade should be aware of. The efforts of global art and antiques trade body CINOA are currently focused on two broad issues: anti-money-laundering legislation and laws surrounding the import of cultural goods.

Bronze

Rare Summer Palace bronze found in British seaside bungalow returns to China

11 December 2018

An exceptionally rare Western Zhou bronze, taken when the Summer Palace was sacked by British troops in 1860, has been returned to China.

Three culture bill proposals to be debated in November

01 October 2018

Three proposals for a European Union law on the import of cultural goods have been tabled for ‘trilogue’ talks in November.

 Sumerian antiquities

Ancient antiquities seized from dealer returned to Iraq after British Museum research

10 August 2018

Eight Sumerian antiquities seized by the Metropolitan Police from a London dealer in 2003 are to be returned to Iraq after identification by the British Museum.

Egyptian National Library and Archives in Cairo

Egypt recovers Islamic manuscript spotted in Bonhams auction

09 August 2018

A rare Islamic manuscript consigned to a Bonhams auction in London has been returned to Egypt in the latest example of Egyptian authorities succeeding in retrieving artefacts from abroad.

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Dealer held after Met ‘looted art’ operation

09 July 2018

A coin and antiquities dealer has been arrested as part of an international investigation into a £35m crime network dealing in looted artefacts.

Antiquity

Coin dealer arrested in London following international looted antiquities investigation

06 July 2018

A coin and antiquities dealer has been arrested as part of an international investigation into a £35m crime network dealing in looted artefacts.

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Antiquities trade fears ‘long-term damage’ amid growth in legal cases in New York

11 June 2018

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) has warned that “long-term damage is being inflicted on both the trade and museums” by the growing number of legal cases surrounding antiquities with long North American provenances.

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ATG letter: This antiquities attitude must not cross the Atlantic

11 June 2018

MADAM – With high-profile seizures taking place, particularly in New York (‘Trade decries US crackdown on antiquities’, News, ATG No 2345), long-term damage is being inflicted on both the trade and museums.

Ancient Greek horse

Auction house Sotheby’s takes on Greece in landmark antiquities court case

06 June 2018

A small bronze figure of a horse from ancient Greece is at the centre of a New York court case after Greece’s ministry of culture demanded its return and stopped its sale at auction.

Persian guard relief

Trade decries US crackdown on antiquities

04 June 2018

Demands for ‘looted’ items to be returned could be ‘disastrous’ for the dealers, say antiquities trade bodies...

British Museum

British Museum launches Egyptian antiquities database to track looted artefacts

04 May 2018

A database of Egyptian and Nubian antiquities has been launched by the British Museum after it was awarded a government grant of nearly £1m.

Hobby Lobby

Thousands of artefacts smuggled into the US returned to Iraq

04 May 2018

Nearly 4000 artefacts smuggled into the US for shipment to the arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby were returned to Iraq this week.

Seized artworks.

Spanish dealers arrested after antiquities from Libya seized

30 March 2018

Antiquities looted from archaeological sites in Libya have been seized in Spain by police and two art dealers have been arrested.

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Art Loss Register, New York’s district attorney and antiquities dealers team up to safeguard Lebanese sculptures

06 February 2018

Antiquities looted during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s are to go on display at the National Museum in Beirut after they were identified in Europe as stolen objects.