Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looting and Southern California Museums
Federal authorities raided at least five museums in southern California on Thursday on suspicion of receiving and exhibiting artifacts looted from archaeological sites. The photograph above shows the raid in progress at the Los Angeles County Museum. A private gallery, Silk Roads, was also targeted.

Hat tip to Derek Fincham, Lee Rosenbaum, and Matthew Taylor for their earlier and more detailed blog posts on this story.

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At 6:45 PM , Blogger HollyGL said...

Oh my gosh, that is awful!

At 7:41 AM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

I think that the Feds overreacted, though. There is no evidence that any of the museums are complicit in the looting. Only at the Bowers is there even any evidence of complicity in tax fraud on the part of the donors.

At 12:55 PM , Anonymous VirusHead said...

Why suddenly now? I've always sort of assumed that many of the artifacts in museums were looted in some way or another...

At 7:28 AM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

Apparently, there is someone at the National Park Service who has a research interest in China and East Asia. They spotted material that came from recently discovered sites. There is no sharp line between artifacts that are looted and those that are excavated or collected with all of the necessary permits and approvals.


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