September-October 2009

 

Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.
 
Bulgaria
 
On October 23, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that professor and numismatist Dimitar Draganov had been charged with membership of an organized group conducting illegal archaeological excavations, and with intending to profit from the sale of illegally acquired artifacts (P. Kostadinov, “Case study,” sofiaecho.com.). Draganov was arrested in 2008 along with 18 other people on suspicion of illegal excavation. The charges hinged on the presence in Draganov’s house at the time of his arrest of 400 archaeological coins belong to the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokovi. The police claimed that Draganov was describing the coins prior to their sale abroad. Draganov defended himself by stating that the collection had been registered with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007 and was therefore legitimate, and that he was studying the coins in advance of publication. The Bobokovi collection comprises thousands of unprovenanced coins, and Draganov has already published two monographs based on the collection. Draganov is a member of the UK’s Royal Numismatics Society, and he was awarded a medal for best poster at the 14th International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow in September 2009.
The case was profiled against the debate over Bulgaria’s 2009 Cultural Heritage Act (A. Bivol, “Archaeology’s losing fight,” sofiaecho.com, October 30). This new law replaced the previous heritage law, which dated back to 1969 and had placed archaeological heritage under state ownership and supervision. The 2009 law is intended to accommodate current international thinking about heritage protection and presentation, and to allow more private sector involvement. One controversial feature is the requirement that putative owners of antiquities collections within Bulgaria should prove good title by providing documentation of acquisition outside Bulgaria. (Acquisition within Bulgaria would be illegal). On September 29, the Bulgarian constitutional court ruled that this provision is in effect retrospective as previously there had been no such requirement, and that therefore the law is not human rights compliant.
The inclusion of organized crime in the charges brought against Draganov highlights the danger faced by academics collaborating with criminal collectors/dealers under new organized crime laws. Article 2 of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, for example, defines “organized criminal group” as “a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious [transnational] crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” Thus an academic would only need to be acting in concert with two people engaged in antiquities smuggling or laundering over a period of time to be open to prosecution (see S. Manacorda, 2009, Organised Crime in Art and Antiquities, Milan: ISPAC).
 
Egypt
 
Egypt has adopted a more aggressive policy towards foreign museums in possession of contested Egyptian artifacts. On October 7, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced that it had severed relations with the Louvre, and would not restore them until the Louvre agreed to return four pieces of wall painting that were stolen during the 1980s from the 18th dynasty Theban Tomb 15, near Luxor (SCA, “Egypt suspends archaeological cooperation with the Louvre,” press release). Two days later, the French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand announced that the pieces had been acquired in good faith from the collection of Marianne Maspero in 2000 and would be returned, along with a fifth piece acquired at auction in 2003 (Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, “Frédéric Mitterand, minister de la Culture et de la Communication, decide la restitution de cinq fragments de fresques issus d’un tombeau égyptien,” press release, October 9).
            A couple of weeks later, in an interview with Spiegel Online, SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass announced that he was investigating the circumstances of the removal from Egypt of the bust of Nefertiti in 1913, but that the “Berlin Museum administration” had ignored his request to be sent relevant documentation (“Egyptian official calls museum behavior ‘suspicious’,” October 20). The documentation in question can only be the recently discovered 1924 description of the meeting between Egyptian and German officials that decided ownership. Interviewed by the New York Times, German government expert Monika Grütters stated that the export had been agreed at the time and was legal, and that the bust was well cared for in Germany (J. Dempsey, “Egypt demands return of Nefertiti statue,” October 19).
 
On October 28, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a granite relief fragment inscribed with the name of Pharoah Amenemhat I (Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Metropolitan Museum of Art returns a granite fragment to Egypt,” press release). The fragment was on loan to the Metropolitan though not displayed when museum staff recognized it as part of a larger work still in situ at Karnak. The Metropolitan purchased the piece from the owner in order to return it. The press release did not explain why the museum had followed this unusual and expensive course of action, but did reveal a precedent. The museum had previously purchased a loan piece in 1996 which was also returned to Egypt.
 
Diplomatic bag
 
Iranian customs announced in October that they had intercepted a cargo of ancient manuscripts and coins packed in 318 cardboard boxes that was being smuggled out by an Argentine diplomat (R. Tait, “Argentina’s man in Tehran tried to ship home Persian treasures by the tonne,” Guardian, October 7). The diplomat, Sebastian Zavalla, claimed to have purchased the objects legally.
 
Iraq
 
Three men were arrested south-west of Kirkuk by Iraqi army personnel while trying to sell a Sumerian bust (“Three held in Iraqi art ‘sting’,” BBC News, September 20).
 
It was reported in October that Iraqi diplomats in Germany had stopped the sale of 28 artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Iraq after 2003 (S. Adel, “Iraq blocks sale of Mesopotamian artifacts in German auction,” Azzaman.com, October 14).
 
Dead Sea Scrolls
 
South Californian Azusa Pacific University has announced the acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments. Four of the fragments were acquired from Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts of Venice, Los Angeles. The fifth was from Legacy Ministries International of Phoenix (Azusa Pacific University, “Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and rare Biblical artifacts,” press release, September 3).
 
Turkey
 
In October, the so-called Elmali Hoard was placed on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum (“Elmali treasure finally on display at home,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 27). The hoard, comprising something like 1,900 5th century BC silver coins was excavated illegally at Bayindir village near Antalya in 1984 and smuggled to the United States. It included 14 Athenian Decadrachms, doubling the number then known. Most of the hoard was bought by William Koch, and after a legal battle was returned to Turkey in 1999 (see: Ö. Acar and M. Kaylan, 1988. “The hoard of the century,” Connoisseur, July, 74-83).
 
Robin Symes
 
In September, the Observer reported on recent investigations into the activities of ex-antiquities dealer Robin Symes (M. Townsend, “The dealer, the $10m and the missing art treasures,” September 13). The family of his deceased partner Christos Michailidis believes that Symes has secretly sold a collection of Eileen Gray furniture it owns through a Parisian art dealer for $10.3 million (see: P. Watson, 2004, “The fall of Robin Symes,” Culture Without Context no. 15, 20-22). A French bank passed the sale proceeds through a Liechtenstein-based front-company called Lombardi to an account in Gibraltar, and on to Symes, who claimed the money had been given to him by a wealthy benefactress. The law firm Bird & Bird, acting for the Michaelidis family, is taking action against the French bank and its branch in Gibraltar.
Symes was declared bankrupt in 2003, and arrangements are still being made for the controversial sale of his stock of antiquities. In the meantime, 261 lots belonging to Symes were sold at Bonhams Oxford in October (sale no. 17777, The Robin Symes Collection, October 7). The material offered comprised an eclectic mix of paintings, drawings and objects of decorative art. True “antiquities” were notable on account of their absence. Unusually for a public auction of this type, the lots were offered without any guarantee of title, and without any reserve price. A Bonhams spokesman explained that nothing is known about the origins of the pieces, as “The paperwork had all been destroyed” (C. Gleadell, “Art sales: the last remains of a scandal,” Daily Telegraph, September 28).
 
Staffordshire Hoard
 
In September, what was described as “the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure” was discovered in a field in Staffordshire by metal-detectorist Terry Herbert (“Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found,” BBC News, September 24). The hoard comprises something like 650 gold artifacts, weighing in total more than 5 kgs, and 530 silver artifacts, weighing 2.5 kgs. It was declared treasure under British law.
 
HMS Victory
 
On September 18, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had reached agreement with the British government over the 1744 wreck of the warship HMS Victory, located by Odyssey in the English Channel. The UK government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award for artifacts recovered from the wreck and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. The artifacts in question are two cannons, for which Odyssey received $160,000, donating $75,000 to the Royal Navy Museum. Odyssey will now work in concert with the British government towards further exploration and exploitation of the wreck, though a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that they had not yet determined how to proceed (“Florida deep sea explorers reach agreement with UK on ship artifacts,” Associated Press, September 18).
 
Blanding arrests
 
The fall-out from the Blanding arrests continued. On September 16, Jeanne Redd was fined $2,000 and sentenced to 36 months’ probation, while her daughter Jericca Redd was fined $4,300 and received 24 months’ probation (P. Henetz, ‘Redds dodge prison in artifact sentencing,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 17). The judge stated that he had been lenient with Jeanne Redd (sentencing guidelines indicated a prison sentence), because she lived in a community where her behavior had been tolerated and had suffered through the suicide of her husband James Redd.
            On September 29, Colorado artifacts dealer Robert Knowlton pled not guilty to illegally trafficking in Native American artifacts (K. Coffman, “Coloradan pleads not guilty to artifact charges,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 30.”
 
Barry Stern
 
Former director of Long Island University’s Hillwood Museum Barry Stern surrendered to the FBI on September 16 (K. Cornell and J. Mollica, “LI’s Pharaoh ‘phraudster’,” New York Post, September 16). He was charged with stealing nine Egyptian artifacts from the museum’s collection and offering them for sale at Christie’s New York, in two auctions on December 9, 2008 (sale no. 2056) and June 3, 2009 (sale no. 2174). The artifacts were marked in the catalogues as “Property from the collection of Barry Stern,” with a provenance said to be “Acquired by the current owner’s parents, circa 1955.” They were part of a collection of 50 artifacts that had been donated to the museum in 2002. Eight of the artifacts were sold, but museum employees recognized the theft when Christie’s faxed the museum a purchase offer for the remaining unsold artifact. Stern had been employed by the university for 22 years until his dismissal in August 2008.
 
Hiram Bingham artifacts
 
On October 16, Yale University filed a motion to dismiss a suit launched by Peru in December 2008 to secure the return of artifacts held by Yale that were originally acquired by Hiram Bingham in 1912 (N. Caplan-Bricker, “Yale moves to drop museum suits,” Yale Daily News, October 27). Yale argued that the material had been described in several publications as its property, and that therefore Peru had failed to make its claim within the appropriate limitation period.