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Recent Reports of Looting, Theft, Prosecution and Recovery on the World Wide Web


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The Problem of Pillage
Recent Reports of Looting, Theft, Prosecution and Recovery on the World Wide Web

The U.S. Response

U.S. and International Laws


November 1998

October 1998

  • Walker, Hollis FBI Seizes Gold from Museum The Santa Fe New Mexican (October 1, 1998). Three gold objects from an exhibition at the Museum of New Mexico are suspected of being looted from an ancient tomb in Peru. See also the follow-up piece on October 2. Note that the United States agreement with Peru to restrict import of items that may have been looted from Sipán has been in effect since 1990.
September 1998
  • Rose, Mark Backflap Sting Archaeology Volume 52 Number 1 (September/October 1998). Article on the FBI sting operation to recover a stolen gold Moche backflap. For more information, see also the Moche Home Page.
July 1998
June 1998

May 1998
  • Harrington, Spencer P. M. Plundering the Three Gorges Archaeology Online News (May 14, 1998). A rash of looting is following in the wake of construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the middle reaches of China's Yangtze River.

  • Schuster, Angela M. H. Copan Tomb Looted Archaeology Volume 51 Number 3 (May/June 1998). Report of looting of 1,500-year-old tomb of a queen at the ancient Maya city of Copán in western Honduras in February.

  • Slayman, Andrew Geneva Seizure Archaeology Online Features (May 3, 1998). Swiss police raided four bonded warehouses in Geneva containing 10,000 artifacts, most of them probably smuggled from Italy, valued at $35 million, one of the largest antiquities seizures ever.

  • Slayman, Andrew Gold Goes Home Archaeology Volume 51 Number 3 (May/June 1998). U.S. Customs Service returns to Costa Rica 69 Pre-Columbian artifacts seized from smugglers.

  • Slayman, Andrew The Looting of Italy Archaeology Volume 51 Number 3 (May/June 1998). Report on the court case regarding the return of a golden phiale to Italy.
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998

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