Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Antiquities Dealer Selling Egyptian Archaeological Goods is Arrested

Relevant to my previous post ("Italy Returns Thousands of Looted Coins to Bulgaria: Is there a Connection to Past Criminal Activities") about ancient coins and antiquities smuggled on a large scale to Western nations out of Bulgaria to supply the antiquities and ancient coin market, it has just been announced that a well-known antiquities dealer who has sold undocumented antiquities from a variety of countries and regions was recently arrested in Bulgaria, after eluding authorities. In 2004, he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in Egypt for illegally selling Egyptian antiquities. Like Eastern European countries, the cultural heritage of Middle Eastern nations such as Egypt are at great risk to looters and smugglers. Zahi Hawass, of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has spoken about the case.

See B. Helmy, "Interpol Arrests Antiquities Smuggler," Daily News, Jan. 15, 2009.

David Gill and Paul Barford have already made some comments on the arrest:

D.W.J. Gill, "A Dealer, Interpol and Sofia Airport," Looting Matters, Jan. 15, 2009.

P. Barford, "Arrest of Antiquities Dealer," Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues. Jan. 15, 2009

Also of relevance, see discussion of the recent arrest of an Australian antiquities dealer who was selling and smuggling Egyptian antiquities:

D.W.J. Gill, "Australian Antiquities Dealer Arrested in Egypt," Looting Matters, Jan. 3, 2009.