Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation by Duncan Chappell, Saskia Hufnagel

By Duncan Chappell, Saskia Hufnagel

On the planet of legislations enforcement paintings and antiquity crime has long ago frequently assumed a spot of low curiosity and precedence. That state of affairs has now slowly started to alter on either the neighborhood and foreign point as criminals, inspired partly via the checklist sums now being paid for artwork treasures, at the moment are trying to make the most the paintings industry extra systematically through robbery, fraud and looting. during this assortment lecturers and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North the USA mix to envision the demanding situations awarded to the felony justice procedure via those advancements. most sensible perform equipment of detecting, investigating, prosecuting and combating such crimes are explored. This e-book should be of curiosity and use to lecturers and practitioners alike within the components of legislation, crime and justice.

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Sample text

Over time, as the material damage caused by the looting of antiquities came to be recognized, proliferating national and international laws placed the antiquities trade under progressively stronger statutory regulation, so that increasingly it has been made illegal. Nevertheless, this regulation has not succeeded in controlling or reducing the trade, and since the 1950s the material volume and monetary value of the trade have risen at an alarming rate. And while traditionally, the antiquities trade has been in the hands of specialist dealers, the increasing availability of illicit antiquities on the open market has opened opportunities for more routine criminal involvement and profit.

12 In July 1973, Hoving received from art collector Muriel Newman a copy of a letter she had sent to Sarrafian stating that she had seen a fragmentary Euphronios vessel with him in Beirut in 1964. 13 By the end of 1973, therefore, the question of provenance seemed settled in favour of the Hecht/Metropolitan account of Sarrafian’s ownership, and thus legitimate provenance. Matters rested there until the Italian Carabinieri began investigating Giacomo Medici and Robert Hecht in the 1990s. In September 1995, they raided Medici’s Geneva storerooms, recovering 3,800 whole or fragmentary antiquities, more than 4,000 photographs of looted antiquities in various stages of restoration, and thousands of documents relating to his business.

4 Ibid. The Antiquities Trade: Four Case Studies 17 Hecht supplied two documents of provenance in support of his claim. First was a letter dated 10 July 1971, written by Sarrafian to Hecht, in which Sarrafian declared that he would deliver the vase to Hecht in expectation of a final sale price of $1 million. 7 On 19 February 1973, however, a more critical account of the krater’s provenance was published,8 heralding a series of articles that questioned the museum’s account and suggesting instead that the krater had been excavated illegally at Cerveteri in late 1971.

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