Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Any chance of using any influence you might have to get all the Medici photos published?"

So asks the only collector congratulating Archaeo-blogger David Gill on his award from the AIA. See

But why should Gill accede to such a request? He's gained much of his notoriety by ambushing unsuspecting collectors and auction houses with pictures from the Medici archives that he evidently has special access to. During the CPAC hearing on a renewal of the Italian MOU, lawyer Bill Pearlstein asked CPAC to condition any renewal on making these pictures public so that this looted material could be identified by the market. We don't know if CPAC adopted that suggestion in its recommendations to ECA Assistant Secretary Ann Stock, but we do know that the State Department did not incorporate that reasonable request in the revised MOU with Italy.

So, David Gill should also give thanks to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center for allowing him to continue his game of "gotcha" and the notoriety embarrassing others gives him.


kyri said...

i dont agree with everything david gill says,as a collector i find myself between camps but he says things that need to be said however uncomfortable they are to hear for us collectors.
peter have you read the medici conspiracy by peter watson,if you ever needed any evidence of the antiquities market driving the looting than there it is in black and white.looting on an industrial scale,out of the ground and into sothebys within weeks.
i agree with you that ALL the archives held should be published so that we can avoid these "toxic antiquities" i find it grossly unfare that a collector could unwittingly buy a looted antiquitie from a respected auction house in good faith,as many have done, graham geddes to name but one and find that their piece is either unsaleable or even confiscated.thats just not right.
ps,i have read articles by david gill and dave welsh,both very knowledgeable people,lovers of ancient history,greek art and ancient cultures,its a shame i cant get everyone together in a room and bang a few heads togeather to find some middle ground and so we can all move forward toghether to protect the archaeological sites and protect the right to collect and trade in ancient art.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Sadly, I was where you are 10 years ago, but learned over time the AIA is not interested in anything but an ideological approach to these issues. The real problem, though, is the source countries. It's no coincidence that the most aggressive are also the most corrupt, bureaucratic and/or authoritarian. It's more about control than conservation as far as they are concerned I'm afraid.