So Why Does eBay Help Antiquities Smugglers?

As a quick follow-up to my recent post - So I Bought A Papyrus on eBay ... - eBay took down my feedback:

I was very careful to make it factual, and not malicious or an attack, so that it did not violate eBay's terms. I also checked first with the seller "ebuyerrrrr" to confirm that he did not have an export license from Turkey:

And a quick Google would have confirmed easily that Antiquities cannot be exported from Turkey (see here) ...

So ... seller happily admitting to exporting antiquities by post out of Turkey, contrary to Turkish law and the 1970 UNESCO Convention =  absolutely fine with eBay.

But ... Turkish Ministry of Culture, me (one of leading experts of cultural property), various police forces, etc ... = complete idiots according to eBay, who can happily be ignored.

In fact, eBay have quite happily allowed the Turkish smuggler "ebuyerrrrr" to re-list the papyrus in questions - here (and below) - and to keep selling through them although they have repeatedly been told that he has admitted in writing to smuggling illicit archaeological material out of both Egypt and Turkey, then former breaking Egyptian law in addition to Turkish law.

Perhaps in the past eBay could claim that they didn't know they were helping a looter sell illicit antiquities, but since they have repeatedly been informed of this, they can no longer claim to be ignorant of the facts. They are now actively assisting in the rape of cultural heritage.

(I think the Egyptian beaded face the same seller has listed - here - is such an obvious fake that there is no point worrying about it; it is listed as in London, where the seller and his brother regularly try to flog dodgy Egyptian antiquities).

Anyway, I have no plans to meet up with "Robert" as "ebuyerrrrr"now claims to be named (he's not):

At least not without police to arrest him. Oh, and he can't meet up "in London any time" as he is in fact in Istanbul.

I'd like to see eBay stop smuggling antiquities.

But meanwhile, if anyone is curious ... if you bid and win, they won't enforce payment. The worst that will happen is an unpaid items "strike" and one is allowed three strikes a month before an account is suspended.

1 comment:

  1. eBay / PayPal make ludicrous decisions like this all the time.


I do not moderate comments, but I remove spam, overt self-promotion ("read [link] my much better post on this") and what I consider hate speech (racism, homophobia etc).

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.