Despite the uncritical coverage in the archaeological blogosphere, one has to wonder about the accuracy of recent press reports that claim Bulgarian police have smashed a ring of Thracian tomb raiders. Though admittedly the photo that accompanies the story is not very clear, from what I can tell it only shows bright, regularly shaped modern coins and artifacts. One would expect instead to see darkly colored patinas associated with long burials if this is really a major bust of "tomb raiders."
During CPAC's consideration of the proposed Bulgarian MOU, it was revealed that Bulgaria's corrupt police all too often hype such seizures in order to make it appear that their efforts are far more effective than they truly are in reality. The picture accompanying this story raises the question if the Bulgarian police are still more interested in looking good rather than doing good in their jobs. Hopefully, there will be some clarification of whether the image is that of the actual seizure and, if so, whether the coins are of ancient or modern origin.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Is the Latest Bulgarian Bust for Real?
Posted by Cultural Property Observer at 10:04 AM
Labels: Bulgaria, Bulgarian MOU, corruption, police
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Arthur Houghton asked me to post this:
"Peter, virtually all are modern. Pocket change. Or maybe fakes. The Bulgarians are good at fakes. Your friend in Poland couldn't tell the difference of course. But then who cares? Fakes are cultural property too, no? To your undistinguished commentator in Poland it's all the same.
I'm trying to recall if he's decided the fake griffin is real or not. That wouldn't matter much to him either. Archaeology, like art, is what one says it is.
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