Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dealing in antiquities

Multi-page article looking at the antiquities trade and how it is changing, using Phoenix Ancient Art, a successful antiquities dealer, as a case study: "In a climate where suspicion can be tantamount to guilt, antiquities dealers can no longer afford the perception of secrecy. More and more, their galleries are, by necessity, becoming "mini-museums. . . . Fewer objects are being traded because many do not come with the extensive documentation needed to prove their authenticity and provenance. Now, increasingly rare pieces with a clear provenance are fetching higher and higher prices. Similarly, while some long-time collectors, citing the recent controversies, have withdrawn from the antiquities field, newcomers are entering, hoping to turn the increased risk into a higher return on their investment." Zahi Hawass is quoted a couple of times with reference both to his attitudes and his claim for the return of the St Louis Mask, which was purchased through Phoenix Ancient Art. See the above article for the full story.

No comments: