Culture crime news: 24–30 Mar 2014


Hot this week: Grave robbing and reality TV

Receive ‘Culture crime news’ as a weekly newsletter! Sign up here.


The loaded image: when art is politicised
27 March 2014, Art Media Agency

South and East Asia

China’s Purchase Of Chinese Looted Artifacts: An Example For Other States? – OpEd
24 March 2014, Eurasia Review

West Asia

Top secret: The ancient rock art hidden all over the Negev desert; The Antiquities Authority is afraid of revealing whereabouts (Israel)
27 March 2014, Haaretz

At Risk: Egypt’s Heritage — and Our Own
26 March 2014, Huffington Post

Institutions should moderate their rule on looted objects (an opposing view)
25 March 2014, The National

Authorities confiscate antiquities stolen from several sites archeological
27 March 2014, Syrian Radio & TV

Oceania and Australia

NGA chairman backs staff caught up by Kapoor scandal
24 March 2014, The Australian (PAYWALL)

Art Theft Scandal Widens As Art Gallery of NSW Removes Statue India Wants Back
27 March 2014, Business Insider

NGA refuses to return $US5m Shiva statue despite evidence it was stolen from Indian temple
24 March 2014, Sydney Morning Herald

NGA removes Dancing Shiva from display
26 March 2014, Sydney Morning Herald

India wants looting scandal statues including Dancing Shiva returned in 30 days
27 March 2014, Sydney Morning Herald

Explorer Mungo Park’s trunk goes under hammer in New Zealand
26 March 2014, BBC News


House Of Representatives Votes To Gut Antiquities Act
26 March 2014, National Parks Traveler

A Tiny Renoir, Stolen In The ’50s, Finally Comes Home To Baltimore Museum
28 March 2014, WWNO

Hamas bombing victims lose bid to claim Iranian antiquities (US Ruling)
28 March 2014, Chicago Sun-Times

Peruvian police arrest 60 Israeli tourists for partying with drugs on ancient Incan site (allegedly looted as well)
25 March 2014, The Jerusalem Post

Authorities Confiscate Archaeological Pieces from Cusco Stores (Peru)
28 March 2014, Peruvian Times


Hungary buys back Roman “family silver” for $20 million
26 March 2014, Reuters

Ancient Roman Seuso-treasure repatriated to Hungary
26 March 2014, Website of the Hungarian Government

Sevso treasure items repatriated by Hungarian government after UK sale
27 March 2014, The Guardian

Stolen Czech Ark Cover Returned to Prague Musuem
28 March 2014, The Jewish Daily Forward

Amsterdam museum uncertain where to send back exhibits from Crimean museums
27 March 2014, APA

Will the Just Judges soon be reunited with the Ghent altarpiece? (Belgium)
28 March 2014, Flanders News

Cornelius Gurlitt: One lonely man and his hoard of stolen Nazi art
26 March 2014, BBC News

Sale of Items Linked to Hitler: Good Business or Bad Taste?
25 March 2014, The Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

Museum porcelain may have been looted by Nazis (UK)
29 March 2014, The Times (Paywall)

Tate to return Constable painting looted by Nazis
28 March 2014, The Telegraph

British Museum will not bid for fragment of Assyrian stele—even though it owns the rest (allegations of looting)
27 March 2014, The Art Newspaper

Crimean museums fear loss of ancient treasures (Amsterdam Museum unsure of who to send loaned objects to)
27 March 2014, Global Times

In Other News

National Geographic is fronting an ethically questionable television show where metal detector users loot Nazi war graves. Nazi War Diggers is truly terrifying and there has been quite the uproar about it.

TV Series Is Criticized in Handling of Deceased
28 March 2014, Tom Mashberg, New York Times

Fury over the National Geographic channel historians digging up Second World War graves
28 March 2014, Guy Walters, The Daily Mail

The Mystery of the ‘Only Camera to Come Back from the Moon’
25 March 2014, Vice