Sunday, May 27, 2007

An Impasse in Italian Talks Over Return of Artifacts
This is nothing to do with Egyptology, but as it deals with the repatriation of artefacts taken illegally out of one country and sold to another, I have included it: "After months of intense discussions, negotiations between a New York antiquities collector and the Italian government have bogged down over a demand that she never be pursued by Italy again, several people close to the talks say.
Italy is seeking the return of nine artifacts from the collector, Shelby White, contending that they were looted from its soil.
Lawyers for both sides had been optimistic earlier this year that a deal could be struck. But an impasse developed over Ms. White’s insistence that in exchange for the objects, the Italian Culture Ministry grant her immunity from legal action of any kind and promise not to go after anything else she owns or acquires in the future, people familiar with the talks said.
Italian officials do not suggest that Ms. White or her husband, the financier Leon Levy, who died in 2003, knowingly bought artifacts whose provenance was suspect. But they say that forgoing potential investigations of any suspected wrongdoing in the future would essentially allow tomb robbers and dishonest dealers to traffic with impunity."
See the above page for the full story.

On the same theme, Minerva magazine is covering the Getty repatriation saga in its current issue. The contents for the lastst issue of Minerva is at the following page:

1 comment:

Harlequin Heretic said...

I am currently reading "The Medici Conspiracy", and I have become fascinated by the illicit antiquities trade. Where can I find more information on this? I am not just curious about Italy but other countries as well.