Feds Sue for Return of “Looted” Khmer Statue; Insider Emails Reveal Sotheby’s Was Warned Statue Was “Definitely Stolen”

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On Wednesday, the U.S. government filed suit seeking to return a 10th Century stone warrior to Cambodia, where it was allegedly looted.

The statue is currently at Sotheby’s in New York, which was set to auction the piece on behalf of a private collector in March 2011. On the day of the sale, Sotheby’s was notified by Cambodian officials that the object had been looted from Koh Ker, an archaeological site 80 miles east of Angkor Watt.

The parties have been negotiating a settlement to the dispute for the past year, as the New York Times reported in February. But those negotiations ended abruptly Wednesday when the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed suit. Authorities will seize the statue on Thursday, the Times reported Wednesday.

In making their case for the statue’s return, the US Attorney cites revealing emails from a scholar warning the auction house…

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UPDATED: Documents Suggest More Stolen Idols At National Gallery Of Australia

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UPDATE 4/10/14: Indian authorities have asked regional police and the public to help identify the origin of the two Dvarapalas that Kapoor sold to the NGA.

Last week we revealed documents suggesting the $5 million bronze Dancing Shiva purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 2005  had been stolen from an Indian temple not long before.

Shiva Nataraja2The story made immediate waves. You can find media coverage of our scoop here and here. Jason has a story in the June 11th Los Angeles Times on the case. We’ve also shared info with Michaela Boland, the national arts writer at The Australian, who has published additionalmaterial there.

As promised, here’s information on four more objects the museum acquired from Subhash Kapoor, whose Manhattan gallery Art of the Past has been selling ancient art to museumsaround the world since 1974.

Two Dvarapalas, or Door Guardians

In 2005, the National Gallery…

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Federal Investigators Behind Criminal Case Against Coin Dealer Arnold Peter Weiss

WIKILOOT,caccia alle antichità saccheggiate
nei Musei del Mondo


[See below for updates.]

Dr. Arnold Peter Weiss, the Rhode Island doctor arrested in New York City on Jan. 3 for allegedly trying to sell a looted ancient coin, had his first court appearance in a Manhattan criminal court on Wednesday. The case was adjourned until July 3rd, and no additional documents have been filed in the case, according to the District Attorney’s office.

We first reported on the case in January here, and have posted the criminal complaint in the case here. You can find our reports on Weiss’ ties to RISD and Harvard here and here; and on a link between his Swiss coin dealership Nomos AG and the Getty Museum here.

There have been few other public developments in the case since January. But we have confirmed that the investigation was initiated by federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency under the Department of Homeland Security.

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Cheat Sheet on Timothy Potts, New Director of the Getty Museum

WIKILOOT,caccia alle antichità saccheggiate nei Musei del Mondo


On Feb 14th, Getty CEO James Cunoannounced to staff that Timothy Potts had been named as the new director of the Getty Museum, the wealthiest art museum in the world. He will start in September.

Potts comes with an impressive provenance. He was trained as an archaeologist at the University of Sydney and Oxford, where he received his doctorate in Near Eastern art and archeaology. He dug for several years at Pella in Jordan, where he was co-director. And after a stint at Lehman Brothers, Potts directed the National Gallery of Victoria (1994 – 1998), the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth Texas (1998 – 2007) and most recently the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Despite his background in field archaeology, Potts has more recently held some controversial views on the collecting of unprovenanced antiquities. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

As director of the Kimbell, Potts helps build the antiquities collection of the Ft. Worth museum, which…

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New York Review of Books: “An important book”

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The New York Review of Books has just published a lengthy write-up of Chasing Aphrodite, calling it “an important book…about money, art and power.”

The author, Hugh Eakin, has covered the antiquities issue over the years for the New York Times and others. In December 2007, he wrote a lengthy profile of Marion True for the New Yorker (that curiously failed to ask some key tough questions.)

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I tesori alla fine dell'arcobaleno


“Finché esisterà il Colosseo,esisterà anche Roma;quando cadrà il Colosseo, cadrà anche Roma, quando cadrà Roma cadrà anche il mondo.”

(Profezia di Beda il Venerabile, VIII secolo)

Originariamente conosciuto come Anfiteatro Flavio o semplicemente come Amphitheatrum, il Colosseum  è la più grande arena del mondo. Situato nel centro della città di Roma,è in grado di ospitare 50.000-80.000 persone. La costruzione venne iniziata da Vespasiano nel 72 d.C. e inaugurata da Tito nell’ 80. Il nome “Colosseum” che deriva dalla statua del Colosso di Nerone si diffuse solo nel Medioevo. L’edificio divenne simbolo della città imperiale,definendo anche un modello per lo svago del popolo. Oggi è un simbolo della città di Roma nonché una delle sue maggiori attrazioni turistiche.



“Taccia la barbara Menfi il prodigio delle piramidi, né il lavoro degli Assiri esalti più Babilonia; né siano celebrati gli effeminati Ioni per il tempio di Diana; l’altare dei molteplici corni…

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Arte attuale e arte inattuale


La strada degli scrittori itinerario turistico sicilia sciascia camilleri – Agrigento – Arte.it

ARTE.IT  online  MAPPARE L’ARTE IN ITALIA   segui notizie e informazioni, approfondimenti con collegamenti in COMMUNITY ARTISTICA CULTURALE             “IL NOSTRO IMMENSO PATRIMONIO ARTISTICO CULTURALE”  per aderire clicca sul Post informativo inviato in Google+ clicca link grazie: https://plus.google.com/  GRAZIE , pittrice Susanna Galbarini                                                                                                 Un progetto per rilanciare cultura e turismo nel cuore letterario della Sicilia. Una proposta che nel complesso si lega ai luoghi che hanno dato le origini a scrittori del calibro di Verga, Brancati, Consolo, …

viaLa strada degli scrittori itinerario turistico sicilia sciascia camilleri – Agrigento – Arte.it.

Steven J. Backman , esculturas con un palillo.

Steven J. Backman , esculturas con un palillo..                    FOROMUSEOS, unire l’Arte  nel Mondo

Artisti, galleristi e critici: la crisi del mondo dell’arte

Artisti, galleristi e critici: la crisi del mondo dell’arte.