Friday, December 26, 2014


Archaeo-blogger Sam Hardy has an interesting post about the Cypriot Department of Antiquities looking the other way while connected Cypriot collectors added looted material from both occupied and unoccupied Cyprus into their collections which were then "legalized."

While the Cypriot Antiquities Service would plead "extenuating circumstances," the information Hardy provides should cast the archaeological lobby's moralistic attacks on coin collectors for contesting import restrictions on "coins of Cypriot type" in a new light.

And what of Cyprus itself?  Wouldn't it be better to institute a program open to all  akin to the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act than one based on insider access to looted material?


John H said...

"Wouldn't it be better to institute a program open to all akin to the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act than one based on insider access to looted material?"

Of course.

Unlike the UK's PAS, archaeology has hundreds of thousands artifacts laying around unclassified in sheds and depots across the Britain, a scandal highlighted by Paul Barford, who for once, had his digit on the pulse.

Have a Happy New Year,

John Howland

kyri said...

hi peter,if having %37 of your country occupied by a foreign power,does not qualify as "extenuating circumstances" than i dont know what does.the cypriot government may have been turning a blind eye but its common knowledge that they would rather have the stolen pieces bought by greeks and kept on the island rather than end up abroad.desperate times,desperate measures.the greek orthodox church on the other hand has openly stated that they will do anything in their power to get back their stolen artifacts and that includes offering to buy them back [the kanakaria mosaics]or giving its blessing to a third party to buy them as they did with the menil glad you are praising sams work hear,he has no hidden agenda, as some of your commentators are insinuating,the guy just says it as he sees it.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Thanks Kyri. Yes, its an ongoing tragedy for which both sides are responsible. And while I could understand why Cypriot authorities did what they did why not open the program to all Cypriots not just chosen insiders? And why not at least consider a program like the Treasure Act and the PAS for items found within the country particularly given the fact that Cypriot authorities also evidently look the other way when British tourists bring metal detectors to the Island? Finally, Dr. Hardy certainly has an agenda, but having one doesn't necessarily mean you are wrong in your analysis. Here, he seems to be correct about the conduct of Cypriot authorities.

kyri said...

"on going tragedy which both sides are responsible for"
maybe its time the us woke up to see who their true allies are as a fellow us citizen of yours says.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Agreed, Turkey has become a bad actor under its megalomaniacal Islamist ruler. Not that it acted all that honorably before. Still, most commentators will say the ongoing tragedy in Cyprus is the fault of both parties. Another frozen conflict that should have been settled long ago.