Art: Hot from the Tomb: The Antiquities Racket

THE notoriety of the New York Metropolitan Museum's Euphronios vase (TIME, March 5) has had at least one beneficial effect: directing attention to the scandalous world market in archaeological thievery. The looting of ancient sites is an ancient custom. A great deal of the treasure in the world's museums was originally pirated by foreign powers or smuggled out. Today the countries of the world officially operate on more elevated principles—but art thievery thrives as never before. It is a multimillion-dollar business that gets amphetamine shots from events like the Met's $ 1,000,000 calyx...

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