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Thursday, January 24, 2008

SoCal Museums Raided

posted by on January 24 at 19:12 PM

Southern California museums were raided early this morning by federal agents in a looting investigation involving ancient art allegedly stolen from Thailand, China, Myanmar, and Native American archeological sites.

Included were the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pasadena’s Pacific Asia Museum, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego.

In the case of the Bowers and the Pacific Asia museums, the warrants clearly suggest that museum officials were aware that the objects were looted and overvalued and accepted them anyway.
According to the warrants, Markell at one point told the agent that LACMA was “a stickler” for checking the background of pieces but also suggested the museum had found a loophole to import restrictions on some objects.

Read it all.

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The more I read and hear the more I just assume that every museum's collections of antiquities is looted, with the full knowledge and orchestration by their directors. There was a devastating piece in the New Yorker recently about the Getty. There are no ethical people in the antiquities trade.

Posted by Fnarf | January 24, 2008 8:05 PM

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