Culture crime news: 10–16 Feb 2014


Hot topics: The Apollo of Gaza, Monuments Men, and Syria.

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Consider this the first of a (hopefully) weekly post of collected media on illicit antiquities, cultural property, art crime, and all sorts of smuggly stuff from the past week. I post all of these to my twitter account and I might as well collect them here. Normally these news collections will come out on Mondays so you can start your week playing catch-up. I am giving you all a good excuse to take it easy and drink your tea and coffee while reading. Far from exhaustive, just what I have read in the week. Enjoy.


While Elgin Marbles debate rages, there is still a market for looted antiquities
14 February 2014, The Conversation

We Will Need Monuments Men For As Long As Ancient Sites Remain Battlefields (Op-Ed)
11 February 2014, Live Science

Swansea University’s real Monuments Man warns that lessons need to be learned
14 February 2014, Wales Online

South and East Asia

Thieves strike at ancient temples (Malaysia)
10 February 2014, The Star Online

Buddha relic at palace: gov’t (Cambodia)
10 February 2014, The Phnom Penh Post

Two Oudong suspects to be questioned next week (Cambodia)
12 February 2014, The Phnom Penh Post

Old palace columns coming home (China)
12 February 2014, ECNS

Gallery Claims Ancient Shiva Statue Was Hot (India/Australia)
10 February 2014, Courthouse News Service

Convicted American trafficker Aaron Freedman and Indian gallery owner Kapoor sued over statue fraud (India)
13 February 2014, The Standard

New evidence may help recover idol (India: Kapoor case)
15 February 2014, The Hindu

United States: Recent Disputes And Controversies Involving Asian Antiquities And Cultural Property
13 February 2014, Mondaq


UNESCO sends out warning on artifacts in the global market (Belize)
14 February 2014, News 5

Stolen artifact from Montreal museum recovered in Edmonton (Canada)
13 February 2014, CBC News

Reward offered after Montana archaeological site looted (USA)
13 February 2014, KBZK

Deep into the world of the ancient Anasazi (USA)
14 February 2014, Los Angeles Times


Egypt’s museums looted during riots
12 February 2014, Al Monitor

Egypt to detain 6 in connection to Germans accused of taking samples from pyramid
11 February 2014, The Associated Press

Fear and looting in Egypt: visible from space
13 February 2014, Al Jazeera

Cultural sites in north Mali damaged by armed extremists: UNESCO
14 February 2014, Shanghai Daily

West Asia

Syria’s Archaeological Sites Ravaged by Bombing, Looting
10 February 2014, Discovery News

The destruction of the idols: Syria’s patrimony at risk from extremists
11 February 2014, The Independent

Mourning for Syria’s Cultural Heritage
14 February 2014, The Huffington Post

Cuneiform Exceptionalism
15 February 2014, AINA

Watch: Mystery surrounds discovery of Apollo statue in Gaza
09 February 2014, The Jerusalem Post

For real ‘Monument Woman,’ saving Afghan treasures is unglamorous but richly rewarding
15 February 2014, The Washington Post


Centenary of Great War could fuel theft of historic artefacts, police say (UK)
10 February 2014, The Art Newspaper

Paintings found in Austrian home not stolen by Nazis, says elderly collector
11 February 2014, The Guardian

Another trove of art found in 2nd home of Nazi-era art dealer’s son (Austria)
11 February 2014, Los Angeles Times

Germans Propose Law to Ease Return of Art Looted by Nazis
13 February 2014, New York Times

The Scream: I found the stolen painting
12 February 2014, BBC News

Cyprus–Switzerland agreement on repatriation of antiquities enters into force
14 February 2014, Cyprus Mail

Greek Crime Rates Decline in 2013 (includes antiquities stats)
14 February 2014, Greek Reporter

Tiffany Jenkins: Parthenon marbles should stay
15 February 2014, The Scotsman

In other news

‘Guggenheim’ Painting Shown To Be Fake With Help Of ‘Bomb Peak’ Technique
09 February 2014, The Huffington Post

Lab detectives help expose art fakes
14 February 2014, Digital Journal

From rares sees, a crime wave grows (Rare flora theft)
10 February 2014, Metro

On the tracks of burglars making a killing out of rhino horn
11 February 2014, The Independent

Landowner Decides to Donate Ancient Mammoth Tusk Found in Seattle to Museum
13 February 2014, The Associated Press