Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cultural Security News (Sep. 30 - Oct. 06)

Contemporary Sales and Ancient Losses
Aleppo Citadel's outer gateA report from Artprice indicated that the contemporary art market is resisting the economic crisis, in that sales only showed a small decline from last year. Major market forces such as Qatar help. The Royal Family continues to outbid competitors for masterworks after a precedent of the $250 million acquisition of Cezanne's The Card Players last year. The market also finds support in emerging areas such as India where an independent art fair in New Delhi enables collectors to interface directly with young artists. Also, in the United States, the Cherokee Art Market of Catoosa, Oklahoma displayed the talent of Native American artists nationwide, and compliments from Paris bolster the image of Los Angeles as a capital for contemporary art.
The news is not as uplifting for antiquities. A recent report on looting in Syria suggested that antiquities are traded directly for arms by dealers in Jordan and Lebanon. Also, Pakistan struggles with the production of fakes and with trafficking in looted Buddhist relics that fetch multimillion-dollar prices at auctions abroad. Trafficking augurs repatriation, and, in fact, Turkey remains assertive in calling for the return of antiquities from museums worldwide.
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