Monday, 12 June 2017

Gotcha Again Gulliblies: The Uncomfortable Truth

'The involved trafficker who supplied 

Becchina with this antiquity,was known to 
have been involved in the acquisition of numerous
 illicit antiquities from Greece in the past'.

Another ancient geegaw should be being quietly withdrawn from sale in a gullible auction house about now as potentially tainted (Greek hunter of stolen antiquities identified a Greek marble funerary stele).
 The stele is lot 8, at the 12/6/2017 Sotheby’s antiquities auction in London. Tsirogiannis identified it in the confiscated Becchina archive, and, judging from the documentation, the stele appears to have been in Becchina’s hands from 1977 until 1990, when it appears to have been sold to George Ortiz. Note that both Becchina and Ortiz are not mentioned in the ‘Provenance’ section given by Sotheby’s. Therefore, at least the two first parts of the ‘provenance’ section must be false, one way or another
and the auction house was again too gullible to check out the dealer's say-so. And again, their reputation takes another blow.  How many of the other items 'checked' with the same 'thoroughness' but handled by dealers who have not yet let their business records get into the hands of the investigating authorities come with similar dodgy collecting histories? Given the state of this market, will the truth ever be known? By refusing to verify and document collecting histories, this market is still generating thousands of potentially tainted artefacts for future generations to cope with.

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