Monday, July 19, 2010

Inflated Figures?

The archaeological blogs are all reporting about the latest returns from Switzerland to Italy. See

They focus on the fact there were 20,000 objects that have been sequestered and some 300 that have been returned to Italy, apparently with the agreement [under duress?] of a Japanese dealer. These 300 objects are said to be valued at 15 million Euros. Looking at them, however, one knowledgeable collector suggested to me that this value must be greatly inflated. It would be certainly interesting to hear other opinions as to the value of these objects, i.e., if the items pictured on display look like they are worth an average value in the range of $65,000.

One thing can't be disputed. Italy's continued success in gaining such returns of artifacts that are suspected of being stolen from archaeological sites again suggests that there is no need to continue the unpopular US State Department ban on the import of unprovenanced Italian artifacts.

Speaking about numbers and averages, I was a bit surprised to see that my blog thanking Cultural Property Observer readers for their 50,000 plus visits has apparently helped prompt Messrs. Gill and Barford to brag that their own blogs have more visitors [or was it just Gill's 3rd anniversary?]. Good for them, but to the extent anyone cares, one might consider the relationship between the number of "hits" and the number of posts. And let's not forget the role Prof. Gill's mysteriously funded PR Newswire releases must have in directing traffic to his own blog. I only wish I had the free time these two individuals apparently have to devote to blogging, and the funding for such an effort.

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