Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jordanian Authorities Disclose Coin Thefts 15 Years After the Fact

Jordan's Prime Minister has disclosed that fakes were switched for genuine ancient coins at museums around the country back in 2001-2002.  This revelation follows another embarrassing discovery that more fakes were switched for real coins at the Citadel Museum in Amman.  Any relationship between the thefts is unclear as is the failure to take additional security precautions at other museums after the 2001-2002 thefts were discovered and referred to judicial authorities.

Grandstanding is easy, but taking real care of one's cultural heritage is hard.  Hopefully, although it's very late in the day, Jordanian authorities will investigate what must be an inside job, publish pictures of  what was stolen so that the legitimate trade can possibly help recover the coins, and, of course, put security measures into place to help keep the same thing from happening again.

1 comment:

Robert Leonard said...

One of the difficulties for even highly knowledgeable museum visitors to detect this is the practice of replacing the originals with electrotypes. In the Sofia, Bulgaria, museum I saw both obverse and reverse displayed of a coin known to be unique! I asked the museum guide which side, if any, was the original coin, and was told that both were electrotypes.