The New York Antiquities Theft Task Force

The 1930s character Indiana Jones would say “It belongs in a museum!” and a 21st century audience would add “in the country you looted it from!” If you were disturbed by the story of the Nigerian Ife Head, you need to read about the New York Antiquities Theft Task Force. The task force is led by assistant district attorney Matthew Bogdanos, who began this work by tracking down antiquities looted from the National Museum of Iraq in 2003. Since then, the task force has recovered around 4,000 items, half of which have been returned to their place of origin. The rest are awaiting repatriation in a storage facility that is considered Manhattan’s best antiquities museum.

An interview with Bogdanos gives us insight into the world of looters, smugglers, dealers, collectors, donors, and museums that end up with precious stolen artifacts, and how cases are cracked. There is some comedy, as in the awkward process of serving warrants on the very rich and privileged people involved. But the best part is Bogdanos’ philosophy around the work he does, which is about righting global wrongs and restoring the legacy of victim nations.  -via Metafilter

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Source: neatorama

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