3.16.2012

The Medici Polaroids

I'm not sure why there's a big fuss going on against a projected project called WikiLoot - they are still fund-raising $350,000 to launch and are not online yet. My understanding is that they plan to post the so-called Medici Polaroids, and maybe some other dealers' Polaroids. I do not know what their relationship is to the Julian Assange affiliate web site also named WikiLoot, but I feel that it is best to wait and see what they are doing before forming an opinion.

I chose not to post the Polaroids yet at www.LootBusters.com mostly as they do not meet our criteria of works reported missing after 1970 by a government or official representative, and partly because my budget is $300 per year.

Should the various Polaroids be investigated further? Yes.

Can anyone who wishes to do so see them? Yes. There are archives in several locations with them, and the one in the UK is housed at Canterbury where no-one with a reasonable reason for wishing to see them is turned away.

Should the various photos be posted on the internet? I see no reason why they should not, as long as they are posted en masse rather than cherry-picked, and with a very clear warning that not all items that passed through Giacomo Medici's hands were looted post 1970.

That's why I dropped the people behind Chasing Aphrodite a note offering any help Loot Busters could provide.

And that's why I was gratified to receive an email back from Jason Felch making it clear that Wiki Loot will be complimentary to Loot Busters rather than a rival, ignoring items reported stolen from museums, and purely concentrating on locating items photographed by looters.

Since their budget, excluding any money already spent, is 1166.66 times larger than ours, I am sure they will achieve their aim much better. We've only helped two marble heads return, one to Libya, in the last year, but they will surely accomplish a great deal more.

Something has to be done about looting, and I am thrilled to see that some people are putting a great deal of effort into raising funds to start a project that will launch hopefully soon and will make a difference. I wish Wiki Loot all the best.

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