Sunday, 29 Jan 2023

Man repatriates 19 antiquities after reading Guardian article

Man repatriates 19 antiquities after reading Guardian article


Man repatriates 19 antiquities after reading Guardian article

An American man has returned 19 antiquities to the four countries they came from after reading reports in the Guardian about the repatriation of looted antiquities.

He wanted to do the right thing legally and ethically by returning the items to Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Pakistan respectively. After an agreement with his two siblings, he has returned them.

But with no idea how to repatriate antiquities, he was initially worried that he could be in trouble with the authorities for having potentially looted the artefacts in his possession.

In those Guardian reports, he noticed that Prof Christos Tsirogiannis, a former senior field archaeologist at the University of Cambridge and a specialist in antiquities and trafficking networks, had been quoted, and so he reached out to him for advice.

Based in Cambridge, Tsirogiannis is the head of illicit antiquities trafficking research for the Unesco Chair on Threats to Cultural Heritage at the Ionian University in Corfu, Greece. Over 15 years, he has identified more than 1,600 looted artefacts within auction houses, commercial galleries, private collections and museums, alerting police authorities and governments and playing a significant role in repatriating antiquities.

Gomperts is an adviser to non-profit organisations. His German-Dutch grandmother Gisela Schneider-Herrmann died in 1992, aged 98. She was active in various excavations, particularly in Italy and Greece in the 1950s and 1960s, and published scholarly papers.

The countries showed their appreciation, with notes of thanks to Gomperts and Tsirogiannis.

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