Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cultural Security News (Aug. 05 - Aug. 11)

From Nigeria to India - not so good news
Fake modern Indian art market fattens on budget buyersNigeria featured prominently in the past week with reported successes in repatriation of Benin bronzes from museums in the United States and continued dialogues with museums worldwide for returns. Simultaneously, the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism announced the need to attract investment in and maintain existing museums in Nigeria while pursuing lasting solutions to trafficking in antiquities. India also reported a range of issues. The deported alleged smuggler, Subhash Kapoor, reportedly sold objects to prominent museums worldwide, and now the museums may be compelled to identify complete provenance for the objects in question. Simultaneously, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed announced a request for art institutions worldwide to verify the provenance of Hindu art and return illicitly acquired objects to the temples of origin. Also, reportedly, fakes of modern India art are apparently not uncommon, if not rampant, in the market. On the positive side, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi has created a portal for aspiring artists to show their work on-line. Sadly, reports of looting in Pakistan are on the rise, Syria continues to suffer thefts of antiquities from cultural sites and museums, the Muslim Brotherhood apparently seeks to cover "inappropriate" public statues, and the Greek art market has reportedly collapsed. To end on a positive note, Chile announced progress towards signing the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
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