Classical and Egyptian Antiquities in the North Carolina Museum of Art

In 1947 the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the sum of one million dollars to acquire works of art for a new State Museum, marking the first time a state had used public funds to buy art. Since then, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) has greatly expanded both its collections, which include European… Read More Classical and Egyptian Antiquities in the North Carolina Museum of Art

Making Matters Worse? The Debate Over “Repatriating” Antiquities to Failed States in the Middle East

With Islamic State on the rampage, and other groups swearing allegiance to them in Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the threat to ancient heritage is greater than ever, and the debate over whether or not to return antiquities, looted or legally exported, to the modern nation states where they were discovered is fiercer than ever.… Read More Making Matters Worse? The Debate Over “Repatriating” Antiquities to Failed States in the Middle East

Selling Artifacts to Save the Past

To raise much needed revenue for archaeological excavations, reduce the strain of storage and maintenance of artifacts on museums and national heritage agencies and help undercut the trade in illicit antiquities, governments, universities, public museums and related institutions should consider making duplicate, common and unwanted artifacts available to the public for sale. Government agencies responsible… Read More Selling Artifacts to Save the Past

Critics Missing the Point: Responses to Clio’s February 22 Article on Looting in Syria.

A February 16 BBC documentary on looting in Syria made the astonishing claim that the smuggling of looted antiquities was “one of Islamic State’s main sources of funding.” On February 22 I responded to this faulty investigation with this blog entry: https://clioantiquities.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/sensationalist-reporting-and-the-antiquities-trade-if-its-in-print-it-must-be-true/ My article raised three key points: First, that despite evidence of looting, which… Read More Critics Missing the Point: Responses to Clio’s February 22 Article on Looting in Syria.

Greek Antiquities in the British Museum, London

The recent decision by The British Museum to send a single sculpture from the famed Parthenon Marbles (or Elgin Marbles) on loan briefly to the Hermitage in Russia, causing outrage in Greece, has once again drawn attention to issues of cultural heritage relating to antiquities. Whatever the merits of the arguments put forward by those… Read More Greek Antiquities in the British Museum, London

Medieval Antiquities in London: The British Museum and Museum of London

In dealing with antiquities, one tends to focus on objects truly “ancient” in that they belong to cultures such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome. Defining precisely what is ancient or an antiquity is itself something of a puzzle, with scholars, dealers, curators and collectors all having varying opinions. Clio Ancient Art has defined any object… Read More Medieval Antiquities in London: The British Museum and Museum of London