Home Architect Report Shows Met Holds Over 1,000 Antiquities Linked To Trafficking

Report Shows Met Holds Over 1,000 Antiquities Linked To Trafficking

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A new survey conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in collaboration with the British association Finance Uncovered has revealed that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has more than a thousand objects linked to individuals ” charged or convicted of crimes against antiquities”. .” The organization report, published March 20, focused on the provenance of the Met’s antiquities collection and its continued acquisition of historical cultural artifacts despite the introduction in many countries of laws prohibiting their export. “In the antiques trade,” the report’s authors wrote, “the Met’s reputation began to erode.”

“The Met is setting the tone for museums around the world,” Tess Davis, executive director of the Antiquities Coalition, which aims to stop the trafficking of cultural artifacts, told ICIJ. “If the Met lets all these things slip through the cracks, what hope do we have for the rest of the art market?”

Investigators have found 1,109 relics in the museum’s collection that are linked to trafficking, nearly a third of which are currently on view. Less than half of the objects are accompanied by documents detailing their arrival in New York. Among these are antiques from countries where the export of such objects has long been strictly prohibited. Museum records confirm that some objects were transported to the United States even after the guidelines were put in place. The investigation has placed the museum’s collection of Nepalese and Kashmiri antiquities under particular scrutiny “because Nepal and Kashmir have experienced heavy looting which has received relatively little international media coverage”. Of more than 250 objects from these regions named in the museum’s catalogue, only three were accompanied by notices specifying their provenance.

“The Met is committed to collecting art responsibly and makes every effort to ensure that all works entering the collection comply with the strict laws and policies in place at the time of acquisition,” said Met spokesman Kenneth Weine. “Furthermore, as collection laws and guidelines have changed over time, the Museum’s policies and procedures have also changed. The Met is also constantly researching the history of works in the collection – often in collaboration with colleagues from countries around the world – and has a long track record of acting on new information as it arises.


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