RE: [Ancientartifacts] Re: The Unidroit Convention (Rome) 1995

In the UK, it is the Art and Antiques Squad of the Metropolitan Police who are interested in the tracking down of smuggled antiquities and they are also interested in people being defrauded by buying fakes.

Rule No. 1

If you are in the slightest doubt about the authenticity of a piece bought from a dealer or on ebay, show it to a museum professional.  Most national museums are willing to comment on items and to receive pictures of artefacts by email.

Rule No. 2

If museum opinion is that you have been sold a fake, then ask for your money back.

Rule No. 3

If the dealer refuses, then you are a victim of fraud and if your loss is significant, report it (and the dealer) to the police.  You might be surprised how interested they are.

Best regards,


"Sue McGovern, Sands of Time " <> wrote:
Apologies that everyone hardly ever hears from me, I do monitor the emails and everyone else does such an excellent job of responding there is seldom anything for me to add.  However, I can add some information to this and suggest a good place to start is the Art Loss Register ( – they are based both in London and New York if you think you might have an issue and they will also assist with International law should you need advice.   Plus, they will handle the return of antiquities should you believe you have an illicit object.  Many of the antiquity dealers these days will do a search on important pieces to ensure they have not been reported as illegally obtained before offering them for sale.
If you really need to get down and dirty, the US has also setup the Cultural Property Investigations Department as part of Dept of Home Land Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement that specifically deals with antiquities.  For the past few years it has been run by one main agent but he tells me he is now in the process of training 52 new people!!   They believe there is a substantial amount of unmonitored illegal trafficking into the US and are setting up to deal with this in a big way soon.  The Art Loss Register will be able to assist you there too.  Rule no 1:  Check provenance.  Rule #2: search the Art Loss Register.  Rule #3:  Enjoy.
I cannot however help you with Europe or the UK.
best regards
Sue McGovern, President
Member, International Society of Appraisers
Sands of Time Antiquities
Phone:  202 342 0518   Fax:  703 997 2410
3003 P St NW, Washington  DC  20007
Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday  10am - 6pm
Open 24 hours:
From: [] On Behalf Of rolf5568
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:50 PM
Subject: [Ancientartifacts] Re: The Unidroit Convention (Rome) 1995
Hi Trevor,

In short, I think the answer to your question would be that the
convention does not define an individual nation's laws of export
(which was Steve's question). I think it sets out to define
unilaterally acceptable agreements on how to make an application for
the return of an "illicit" object and to define legal grounds for
prosecution/extradition of the owner/handler of an item which is in
But before anyone corrects me I would like to state that I've not
read it entirely, so please be gentle when you put me straight! :-)


--- In, <ursa_one@...> wrote:
> Hi,
> just a question.....for you and Rolf.
> > As for contacting various cultural ministries. Did that years ago.
> > Most never replied, those that did sent me links to endless pages
> > about the import/export of modern goods.
> >> I don't think anyone knows the definitive answer to your
> >>
> >> If you want to know about a specific country's cultural property
> >> laws I recommend you contact that nation's appropriate ministry
> >> government department rather than rely on internet pages which
> >> be out of date or inaccurate.
> So where does the Unidroit Convention of 1995 come into this mix?
> Trevor

Guy Rothwell
Ancient Relics
Genuine and affordable antiquities, precolumbian art and historical collectables
Email:, __._,_.___

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