Czech forgeries, Greek reparations, Syrian smuggling
In politics, in India, the Charminar may not qualify as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Illinois, Northwestern University prepares to return a letter of Napoleon Bonaparte’s family to France. In Arizona, Northern Arizona University encourages the education of Native Americans as archaeologists.
In a crossover of politics and security, Greece seeks reparations for World War II damage and return of looted antiquities. In Yemen, the Culture Minister sees cultural education as a countermeasure to extremist thought. Scrutiny of museum holding for illicitly acquired cultural artifacts intensifies. Cambodia continues the initiative to recall antiquities from foreign museums.
In economics, collectors from China seek bargains in the art market worldwide. In China, Shanghai angles for a greater share of the auction market by welcoming Christie’s to operate independently. Financial analysts continue warnings of a bubble in the art market and predictions of crash. In New York, Christie’s auction of contemporary art set a record at $495 million.
In a crossover of economics and security, in Czech Republic, forgeries have a significant presence in the art market. Art is revealed as an ideal means for laundering money. The head of the FBI Art Crime Team commented on the ease by which illicitly transferred fine art and antiquities pass into the legitimate market.
In security, Interpol has targeted the art collection of the Qaddafi family for potential seizure. In New York, the FBI raided an art gallery in relation to an investigation of money laundering. In Lebanon, police arrested Lebanese and Syrian nationals on smuggling of Syria antiquities.
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