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Ancient Greek Amphora of “disputed ownership” to be auctioned in New York

An Ancient Greek Amphora is to go on auction in New York at the end of the month. Too bad that the ownership is currently disputed by Greek forensic archaeologists who have alerted authorities to investigate the issue.  The black-figured amphora may end back to Greece, local media report.

The amphora dated 575 – 525 BC  is to go on auction at Christie’s auction house for 80,000 – 120,000 USD on October 31, 2018.

Archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has reportedly spotted the ancient amphora on the seized archive Symes-Michailides and has already sent pictures of the evidence to  prosecution authorities in New York as well as to Interpol in Lyon to take care of the issues as they did many times in the past.

Dr. Tsirogiannis is a forensic archaeologist researching trafficking networks of illicit antiquities and he regularly identifies illicit antiquities in the he market and assists the authorities in repatriation processes. 

According to media reports, Tsirogiannis sent two professional pictures from the confiscated  Symes-Michaelidies archives (Symes 1-2). The pictures portray the same amphora to be auctioned as object “Lot 31.” Nowhere on the auction catalogue are Symes and Michaelides being mentioned.

The Attica-style black-figured amphora of the Greek Classical times has a height of 0.43 m (43.1 cm) and has outstanding designed on both sides.

Its origin is given as private collections by Sotheby’s and Christie’s as well as a collection by John Hewett (1919-1994.)

Archaeologist Tsirogiannis has also attached two black & white photographs of he same amphora from the Beazley catalogue published in 1971.

Although the Christie’s list refers to it, it does not indicate that the amphora of Beazley had traces of salt, while the one on auction is clean of salt traces.

Until the auction begins, there is plenty of time to take the necessary steps in order to withdraw the object from the auction,” noted

With Tsirogiannis help a Ancient Greek Marble Tombstone from 360 BC was repatriated to Greece in September before auctioned in London.

Robin Symes is a now-disgraced British antiquities dealer who was unmasked as a key player in an international criminal network that traded in looted archaeological treasures.

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