New success for the Greek hunter of stolen antiquities
A new identification of an ancient Greek object illegally exported from Greece and which is now for sale in one of the two major New York galleries, was made by the forensic archaeologist and Research Assistant in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow, Christos Tsirogiannis.
“It is a big part of a Roman marble sarcophagus which I equated in the Royal-Athena Galleries owned by Dr. Jerome Eisenberg in New York,” said Mr. Tsirogiannis at ellines.com.
This section of the sarcophagus depicts the battle between the Greeks and Trojans, also appears in 4 Polaroid type photos and is mentioned in three handwritten notes, all of them were confiscated in 2001 by the Italian and Swiss authorities and were files of the Italian antiquities looter Gianfranco Becchina.
Gianfranco Becchina has already been convicted, both in Italy and in Greece, for acceptance and handling of stolen works of art (antiquities), while dozens of antiquities displayed in the file have been identified and repatriated to Italy, and in Greece (such as the gold Macedonian wreath repatriated from the Getty museum in 2007 and the case of the marble Hermes head repatriated in 2015), while others are still pending in Greece (case of the identification of 3 antiquities in the museum Michael Carlos in Atlanta, United States in June 2007).
The Royal-Athena Galleries of New York, has often been involved in selling illegal antiquities, for example the pottery coming from the great theft of Corinth museum in 1990. These antiquities finally, almost all of them, were repatriated to Greece. Also, the owner of the gallery, Jerome Eisenberg, has been forced to return to Italy antiquities depicted in the seized Medici and Becchina files.
The Gallery mentions in the presentation of the object “A similar sarcophagus featuring a battle between Greeks and Amazons, is in the Thessalonika Museum. Our piece is probably from the same workshop. Other related reliefs may be found in the British Museum, the Museé du Louvre, and the Istanbul Archeology Museum”.
“As I have always done in the past, in cases of antiquities match for Greece and other countries, I have already informed the Greek Police and INTERPOL. Also, I have informed the special prosecutor of New York “says Mr. Tsirogiannis.
On January 13, 2017 the object was confiscated from the Royal-Athena Galleries in Manhattan, New York. According to New York’s prosecutor, now the Greek Government has to make a motion for the return of the antiquity.