Advertisement

Art Crime pp 200-228 | Cite as

Something Is Confidential in the State of Christie’s

  • Christos Tsirogiannis

Abstract

In 1995, the Italian and Swiss authorities confiscated the Giacomo Medici archive in the Free Port of Geneva.1 Later, in 2002, the same authorities confiscated the Gianfranco Becchina archive in Basel.2 In 2006, during a raid at a villa complex maintained by the Papadimitriou family (descendants of the antiquities dealer the late Christos Michaelides), the Greek authorities confiscated the archive of the top antiquities dealers of modern times, Robin Symes and Christos Michaelides.3,4 These three archives — and, especially, the combined information they include (almost exclusively after 1972) — provide an unprecedented insight into the international antiquities market. Research in the archives uncovers the ways in which thousands of looted antiquities from all over the world were smuggled by middlemen, and “laundered” by auction houses and dealers, before being acquired by museums and private collectors, in contradiction of the guidelines of the 1970 UNESCO Convention5 and the 1970 ICOM statement on Ethics of Acquisitions.

Keywords

Private Collection Auction House Wooden Base Professional Image Metropolitan Museum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy (revised edition) (New York: Public Affairs 2007), p. 20.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    David W.J. Gill. and Christopher Chippindale (2006). “From Boston to Rome: Reflections on returning antiquities” International Journal of Cultural Property 13:3, pp. 11–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Vernon Silver (2010). The Lost Chalice (New York: Harper), pp. 263–264.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Margaret Melanie Miles. Art as Plunder: The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property (New York: Cambridge University Press 2008), p. 357; Felch and Frammolino, 2011, p. 284.Google Scholar
  5. 42.
    Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini. The Medici Conspiracy (New York: Public Affairs 2006); Watson and Todeschini 2007; Isman, 2009; Felch and Frammolino, 2011.Google Scholar
  6. 73.
    Bruce McNall. Fun while it Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune (New York: Hyperion 2003), p.41.Google Scholar
  7. 74.
    Hoving, Thomas (1993). Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Simon & Schuster), p. 338.Google Scholar
  8. 84.
    Peter Watson. Sotheby’s: Inside Story (London: Bloomsbury 1998).Google Scholar
  9. 105.
    Martin Robertson, (1986). Two pelikai by the Pan Painter. Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum (3): pp. 71–90, at p. 83, fn. 54.Google Scholar
  10. 106.
    Jerome M. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World (IV) (New York: Royal-Athena Galleries 1985), p. 34, no. 104b.Google Scholar
  11. 121.
    Fabio Isman I Predatori dell’Arte Perduta (Skira, 2013).Google Scholar
  12. 122.
    Maurizio Landolfi et al. Capolavori Dell’ Archeologia: Recuperi, Ritrovamenti, Confronti (Roma: Gangemi Editore 2013), pp. 246–249, nos. 54–55, signed by Alessandra Avagliano.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christos Tsirogiannis 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Tsirogiannis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations