Saturday, January 19, 2013

From Greece to Atlanta: overview

Minoan larnax
The Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University acquired three disputed antiquities: two in 2002, and one in 2004. The first concerns were raised in the press by Greek investigative journalist Nikolas Zirganos in June 2007. In September 2008, in the wake of returns to Greece from the collection of Shelby White (including an impressive krater that had been part of a loan exhibition at the Michael C. Carlos Museum), it was announced that the Greek authorities were investigating the three objects: a statue of Terpsichore, a pithos, and a Minoan larnax. Emory University issued a press statement about the Greek request at the end of the same month.

I returned to the topic in August 2010 when it became clear that the Minoan larnax and the Greek pithos could be traced directly to Palladion Antike Kunst due to the raids on Basel in 2005.

In August 2011 it emerged that the Carlos Museum had acquired Egyptian antiquities from the Joseph Lewis collection. Enquiries were met with the same lack of co-operation.

Is it time that the museum, once known for its strong ethical acquisitions policy, should resolve the situation with Greece? Maxwell Anderson gave a strong lead for Dallas and, given his links with the Carlos, could provide an appropriate model for them to adopt.

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