Amphipolis at the British Museum and Looting

Very quick post as I still have the 'flu.

Stolen Amphipolis antiquities in Britain and Germany | protothemanews.com

Amphipolis: British Museum responds to looting accusations | protothemanews.com

I've mentioned before that there was material from Amphipolis in the Louvre, and there is also material from Amphipolis at the the British Museum. And in German museums, and in Greek museums - it was a pretty amazing city with many fabulous tombs, although none quite as fabulous as is currently being excavated.

The Getty returned a wreath which was probably looted in modern times from Amphipolis:

Six months ago no-one was interested in Amphipolis, now everyone is. I understand that the Greek people are hugely enthusiastic about this tomb, and would like to see all material returned that was taken from the city.

Conquerors have been looting forever. The Romans despoiled Greece, and there are still sculptures to this day in Rome that we can prove ancient Romans took from ancient Greek sanctuaries.

In legal terms people tend to draw a line between sites looted before the 1970 UNESCO Convention, and those looted after, for example the Getty Wreath. This may not be fair, and exceptions are made for Nazi war loot by many countries (although not Greek museums), but this is the general rule.

According to Dr Donna Yates, Dr Christos Tsirogiannis of the Greek Ministry of Culture is the man who seems to have said that the Lion Tomb was looted in modern times, so I suggest he would be the person to ask about that.

My feeling is that the is no sign of modern looting that I am aware of. The breaks in the doors are strange, but there could be a good explanation for them and there is no concrete evidence of ancient looting as everything can be explained by attempts to resolve structural issues.

Dr Katerina Peristeri and the Ministry of Culture have been very generous with access and photographs, but in the past 29 months - and because there was a generous suggestion that I write a book about the tomb, I have done quite a lot of research - there has been nothing that to me in any way suggests that there has been recent looting, nor are there pieces on the art market or in museums that seem to come from this tomb.

On the contrary, I would say that although there might have been looting in the Amphipolis area in both the recent and distant past, currently the citizens of Amphipolis are aware that the superstructure of the tomb was dispersed over a considerable area and are going out of their way to alert Dr Peristeri and her team of all the blocks they find in or near the 200 m exclusion zone.

If journalists are looking for a story, may I suggest that the pride of the people of Amphipolis and this active support for the excavation would be a better story than recycling old news.