Pricing the Priceless

13 Mar 2011 9:08 PM | Anonymous

Pricing the Priceless
  By TARA LOADER WILKINSON Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2011

As violent protests tore through the streets of Egypt in January, one scene warmed hearts around the world. In Cairo, anxious residents were seen forming a human chain around a museum. Their aim? To protect the collection of ancient treasures after looters broke in and destroyed two pharaonic mummies.

 The contents of the museum were priceless, they said. They were probably wrong. Most antiquities are cheaper than you might think. A fact that has been stoking increasing interest amongst investors.

In the drive to diversify away from traditional stocks and bonds, the emotional and aesthetic appeal of millennia-old antiques is starting to attract a broader range of buyers. But to many it remains an impenetrable market, which is fraught with the danger of being sold a dud, or worse, an illegally excavated artifact.


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