In politics, tension developed in the Caucasus with Azerbaijan claiming that Armenia is pursuing an aggressive cultural policy in Shusha, a city of Azerbaijani heritage. In Europe, Hindus welcomed the overdue completion of the Berlin Holocaust memorial for Roma and Sinti people, in South America, Peru claimed the title of “world leader in repatriation” for itself by noting the recovery of 2,700 objects over the past five years, and in Africa, Botswana has started the process of becoming a signatory of the 1970 UNESCO convention countering the illicit transfer of cultural property.
In economics, estimates of the $60 billion worldwide art market indicate that the art acquisitions account for more than 20% of items in the same category such as wine and diamonds. Correspondingly, the art market is reportedly in the midst of a dot-com boom. Examples of on-line presence range from marking tools for established auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's to new, exclusively web-based, ventures such as Saffron of India. Artnet is forging ahead in on-line auction space, and a range of websites appeal to new collectors with a blend of educational and marketing content and innovative discovery such as Art.sy.
In security, the booming market for fake art India includes sculpture as affordable art, and former clients of Knoedler & Company of New York charged that the gallery had dealt in forgeries from a mysterious collection. Over the past month, a couple of news stories in Macedonia reported that US citizens had been caught and detained for attempting to smuggle antiquities, and reportedly, Bangladesh suffers from looting of large volumes of Buddhist artifacts with allegations of complicit political figures.
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