New York antiquities dealer arrested in crackdown on illegal trafficking

Prominent New York art dealer, Nancy Wiener, was arrested last Wednesday (21 December) on suspicion of trafficking illegal Asian antiquities. According to the complaint filed in Manhattan’s Criminal Court, Wiener sold stolen objects to Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, international museums and private buyers. She has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy to buy, smuggle and launder millions of dollars worth of antiquities from East Asia.  Continue reading

UNESCO Director General condemns ISIS destruction of ancient Assyrian site

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova has condemned the destruction by ISIS of the ancient Assyrian archaeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, describing the act as a war crime.

Bokova was speaking in response to the reports that have today been confirmed by the Iraqi government, that Nimrud had been attacked the day before by “armed extremists using bulldozers”. An Iraqi antiquities official speaking said that the attack started after noon prayers, and that some of the trucks may also have been used to haul away artifacts. Continue reading