Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Issue: Selling of Ancient Jewellery and Artifacts

Did you know that at the World Wide Store you are able to purchase REAL ANCIENT JEWELLERY??
Better hurry because there is a 30% OFF SALE happening right NOW!

Authentic ancient jewellery and artifacts. As a collector discover ancient secrets revealed to you through these mysterious and desirable ancient artifacts. Guaranteed to be authentic and from the period stated. Worlds largest selection of statues, coins, rings, and necklaces.

This was an actual website that came up on Google when I typed in ‘authentic ancient jewellery.’ I was curious to see what types of advertisements would come up with regards to the sale of ancient jewellery and antiquities. I find it kind of funny that this website expresses that if you are a collector you will love what they have to offer. I would think that if one is a serious collector of ancient artifacts, one would not support such a website. I think that not only do true antiquities collectors have the ethical responsibility to not support a website like this, but all people also do. It is very doubtful that the products available on this website are genuine even though they are “guaranteed to be authentic.”

This website brings to mind Article 4 of the UNIDROIT 1995 Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects. The article states:
In determining whether the possessor exercised due diligence, regard shall be had to
all the circumstances of the acquisition, including the character of the parties, the price paid,
whether the possessor consulted any reasonably accessible register of stolen cultural objects, and any other relevant information and documentation which it could reasonably have obtained, and whether the possessor consulted accessible agencies or took any other step that a reasonable person would have taken in the circumstances.

If any of these artifacts happen to be genuine, they were most likely stolen and therefore illegally exported. The UNIDROIT 1995 Convention can thus be applied to whomever is in possession of the artifact, but I wonder if the website would provide (or is even able to provide) the buyers with all of the information that is required to prove due diligence

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