The archaeology paradox: more laws, less treasure

07 Apr 2014 1:29 PM | Anonymous
The archaeology paradox: more laws, less treasure

Tight restrictions on export and ownership of artifacts is leaving the world a poorer place.

By Adam Wallwork

April 7, 2014

The Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Sotheby's auction house undefined these are just some of the major institutions that have been forced to repatriate artworks in recent years. Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Cambodia have all successfully used their cultural property laws to secure the return of important antiquities from collectors and museums.

Treasures from King Tutankhamen's tomb that had been in the Met's collection for almost a century went back to Egypt. In 2006, the Met agreed to return the Euphronios krater, a masterpiece Greek urn that had been a museum draw since 1972. In 2007, the Getty agreed to return 40 objects to Italy, including a marble Aphrodite, in the midst of looting scandals. And in December, Sotheby's and a private owner agreed to return an ancient Khmer statue of a warrior, pulled from auction two years before, to Cambodia.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-wallwork-antiquities-law-downside-20140407,0,5826790,print.story

 

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