April 11, 2012

Stolen Greek icons found on Dutch website

Filed under: Art,Religion,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:33 pm

The Greek authorities discovered icons stolen from a church in Greece in 2009 on the website of a Dutch art dealer who claims he didn’t know they were stolen.

The seven Greek icons, with values ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 euro, were seized by the police in April last year, placed in the Rijksmuseum for safe keeping, and handed over to the Greek Ministry of Culture on December 5, 2011. They date from the 18th and 19th centuries and play an important part in the country’s cultural and historical heritage.

The police explain that works of art are usually sold many years after they have been stolen, and so this discrepancy probably makes it sound like the dealer could be telling the truth. I’ve been told there are international sites to check and see if works or art have been stolen and then I would imagine that the dealer was not very knowledgeable in icons or is not telling the truth.

Even Wikipedia has a page of stolen works of art, with a few Dutch ones as well.

(Link: Trouw.nl, photo: politie.nl)

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September 21, 2010

Netherlands gives Australia its half of shared treasure

Filed under: General,History by Branko Collin @ 9:25 am

Last Wednesday the Dutch and Australian governments signed an agreement on how to give Australia the Dutch half of the ANCODS collection, which contains the salvage of four Dutch ships that sank near the Australian coast in the 17th and 18th century.

The agreement to give Australia the Dutch portion of the artefacts had already been taken in 2006, Flevocourant writes.

According to a press release (PDF, 2009) by the ministry of foreign affairs the collections of the Batavia (1629), Vergulde Draeck (1656), Zuytdorp (1712) and the Zeewyk (1727) “include bricks, building blocks, lead ingots, elephant tusk, canon, canon balls, amber and pitch as well as rare objects owned by crew and passengers such as navigational instruments and ornaments”.

“Rather than dividing objects between the two countries, they will be kept as close as possible to the shipwrecks where they have been excavated. This is why the Netherlands has agreed to entrust Australia with safeguarding the objects, which are currently in Dutch possession.”

The agreement was signed aboard a replica of the Batavia which is stationed in Lelystad.

(Photo of the Batavia replica by Wikimedia user ADZee who released it to the public domain)

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June 8, 2009

Three treasures discovered in same month in same city

Filed under: General,Science by Branko Collin @ 9:36 am

Last month, three coin treasures were found in Groningen during archaeological digs. Don’t get all excited though, as a coin treasure is defined as anything over five coins, or as Blackadder character Baldrick would have it, some coins. The biggest find was a collection of half-stuivers, stuivers and double stuivers (a stuiver is the Dutch equivalent of a shilling or a nickel) in a jar, estimated to be worth three monthly salaries at the time they were minted, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch).

So who gets the loot? After a find of celtic silver and gold coins near Maastricht two years ago, archaeologist Wim Dijkman of the city of Maastricht told Z24 (Dutch): “According to the law, half of the estimated value goes to the owner of the land, the other half to the finder. Since this find has become an official one, the finder is the city of Maastricht.” That find was estimated to be worth several hundred thousand euro, and since Maastricht wanted to keep the coins for its own collection, it had to pay the land-owners from its own purse.

(By the way, the coins in the picture were found in my own wallet and are not an official treasure.)

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