Friday, January 21, 2011

Cypriot antiquities, Severis Collection - intercommunal conflict, bicommunal illicit antiquities trade

The Leto and Costakis Severis Collection was largely built from Cypriot antiquities looted during the intercommunal conflict.

Contrary to nationalist histories of the Cyprus Conflict, and of the plundering of Cypriot cultural heritage, it is very clear that, even during the intercommunal conflict, there was a bicommunal illicit antiquities trade; and still now, the only hope of combating this paramilitary-controlled, organised crime is bicommunal cooperation.

Background

Before, I noted that the Severis Collection was one of the Large Private Collections of Looted Antiquities, which were created as part of the Greek Cypriot administration's secret programme of "antiquities rescue" during the intercommunal conflict.

I also used material from the Severis Collection to question whether that secret programme was really salvage. However, now I have reviewed the original collection catalogue (and the recent additions to its newest edition).

The collection catalogue is a fair-sized sample; and all of it was fairly definitely collected between December 1963 and December 1973 (during the intercommunal conflict); so it is quite interesting.

Collection history

The Cyprus Museum and the Swedish Cyprus Expedition inspired Leto Lymbouridou to become an archaeologist; and the New York Institute of Archaeology accepted her a a student; but sadly, her mother 'rejected... "digging in the earth for earthenware"' as unwifely behaviour (D. C. Severis, 2010: 13).

Yet (married as Leto Lymbouridou-Severis), her father-in-law Demosthenis Severis collected antiquities, and 'encouraged' her to do so (ibid.). She collected more than 2,500 artefacts, though more than 600 of those were 'looted' from Kyrenia after the Greek coup and Turkish invasion of 1974 (ibid.: 14).

Reaffirming my previous argument that undocumented antiquities were unlikely to come from before 1935, Leto Severis's son, Demosthenis C. Severis (1999: 7), noted that 'antique pieces started to appear more frequently and in greater quantities' after 1945.

It is true that antiquities laws were 'looser' at that time (ibid.); however, as I showed in my post on Cypriot Antiquities Law on Looted Artefacts and Private Collections, the laws were not still quite tight. It shames British colonial government that collectors found 'acquisition of objects almost unrestricted' (ibid.).

Even then, the Severis family collected few antiquities before 1963: the Severis Collection was built 'mainly' from antiquities looted 'from the early 1960s to the early 1970s' (Karageorghis, 1999: 17).

Vassos Karageorghis (1999: 17), who was the Greek Cypriot antiquities director during that decade of intercommunal conflict, presented it as a problem of 'looting... in Turkish Cypriote villages – enclaves' under the control of Turkish Cypriot nationalist paramilitaries (besieged by Greek Cypriot nationalist paramilitaries).

As I have mentioned elsewhere, Karageorghis (1999: 17) explained that,
the Department of Antiquities... decided to follow a policy of "silent accord", allowing Cypriots who had access to the Turkish enclaves to buy the "spoils" of looting so that these should remain in the country and not be exported abroad... [by] foreign diplomats, members of foreign missions and others....
Yet, as I show below, the evidence from this collection (and from others I have discussed before) reveals that those Greek Cypriot private antiquities collectors also collected looted antiquities from Greek Cypriot villages under the control of the Greek Cypriot authorities.
The most important of them [the 'large private collections'] are the Hadjiprodromou Collection (Famagusta), the Pierides Collection (Larnaca) and the Severis Collection (Nicosia) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17).
(For another example, look at the Pierides Foundation Museum Collection.)

Demosthenis C. Severis inherited the Leto and Costakis Collection, and made it a 'long term loan' to the Constantine Leventis Wing of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia (Karageorghis, 2010: 11).

Caution over numbers

An art historian at Eastern Mediterranean University, Associate Professor Marc Fehlmann (2007), examined three large private collections of Cypriot antiquities in a conference paper On the Situation of Cultural Heritage in Northern Cyprus.

Fehlmann used David Gill and Chris Chippindale's (1993) study of Greek antiquities to guide his study of Cypriot antiquities. He included his paper's findings in a (helpfully citable) comment on Gill's blog on Looting Matters:
according to the methods applied by Chippendale and Gill to Cycladic figurines,... 98.4% of the objects in the Severis-Coll[ection]... have no provenance [find-spot] or previous owner at all.
[Gill discussed Fehlmann's comment in a blog post on Cyprus and Private Collections.]

I would also say that I basically followed Gill and Chippindale's (1993) methods for analysing the origins of artefacts; but I have adapted them to the particular, peculiar, context of Cyprus.

Gill and Chippindale were especially wary of forgeries within the tiny supply of (fewer than two thousand) Cycladic artworks; but I was not especially concerned about forgeries within the massive supply of (hundreds of thousands of) Cypriot antiquities.

I recognised that there were forgeries of Cypriot artefacts; but I feared that the supply of looted antiquities had continually fed any demand that might otherwise have been fed by a forgery industry.

Assessing whether an artefact was genuine, and whether it had been recovered ethically or looted, Gill and Chippindale (1993: 611n107) categorised artefacts as '"known"; "said to be [from somewhere]"; "possibly" or "perhaps" [from somewhere]; [or] "unknown"'.

Gill and Chippindale (1993), Fehlmann (2007; 2008) and I excluded artefacts "possibly" or "perhaps" from somewhere as not known to be from anywhere.

Gill and Chippindale (1993: 611n107) accepted artefacts' 'vague' find-spots like 'Asia Minor' as known, though they 'may not [have been] much more than a restatement of their... style'. (Particularly because I used find-spots to identify looting communities) I judged such find-spots too vague and rejected them.

At the same time, since reporting something was "said to be" from somewhere was merely 'the usual undocumented and unsubstantiated assertion', Gill and Chippindale (1993: 612) rejected it as unreliable. As I will now explain, I accepted something "probably" or "said to be" from somewhere as from that place.

Confidence in numbers

Unlike Fehlmann, I believe that we can have reasonable confidence in the find-spots given in the introduction to Ancient Cypriote Art in the Severis Collection (and in Cypriot antiquities catalogues more generally).

Karageorghis does use uncertain words and phrases: some things "may have come" from one place; other things "may have been found" in another place; some artefacts were "typical" of finds from one archaeological site, and they were collected when that site was looted.

However, those uncertain words hide certain knowledge. For example, the catalogue records only that,
The groups of vases (cat. nos. 12-20)... are typical of the Philia stage pottery and it is quite possible that they may have come from Marki-Davari, which was thoroughly looted during the years when the Collection was formed (Karageorghis, 1999: 33).
Later, it recognises only that,
It is quite possible that this dagger blade [cat. no. 22] may have come from the same tomb as the Philia phase wares discussed above (cat. nos. 12-20) (Karageorghis, 1999: 43).
Now, it is possible that an archaeologist might speculate about the village in which an artefact was made by the artefact's style; but it is completely unbelievable that Karageorghis would speculate about the specific tomb in which an artefact was put if he did not know.

(There was a similar example, from another antiquities department archaeologist, in my review of Cypriot Museums' Looted Artefacts' Acquisitions, 1961-1976.)

Furthermore, Karageorghis (1999: 17; 18; 258) felt confident enough about another 64 artefacts' find-spots to name the specific cemeteries from which they - 001-009, 064-072, 075-085, 125-155, 210-212 and 233 - "likely", "most probably", or "no doubt" came.

I did accept 'said to have been found in a tomb at Marki or Kotchati' as a find-spot for #035 (Karageorghis, 1999: 58); but Marki and Kotsiatis were neighbouring, Turkish Cypriot villages; and they formed a single Turkish Cypriot enclave during the intercommunal conflict.

Numbers

There were 257 artefacts in the 1999 catalogue, and those 257 plus 31 additional artefacts in the 2010 catalogue. All of the 288 catalogued artefacts were probably looted during the intercommunal conflict.

However, 211 (73.26%) had no information whatsoever, so we cannot know from where or, thus, by whom they were looted. Of the 77 artefacts with find-spots,
  • 9 were from Turkish Cypriot Souskiou;
  • 13 were from Turkish Cypriot Marki;
  • 20 were from Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni;
  • 31 were from ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias); and
  • 4 were from ancient Marion (modern Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou).
So, 42 (55.45%) were probably looted by Turkish Cypriots, 35 (45.45%) by Greek Cypriots.

Obviously, Turkish Cypriot involvement in looting was disproportional to the size of the community; but that was unsurprising, because of their economic and political plight. What has become equally unsurprising, though, is significant Greek Cypriot participation in looting.

Conclusion

Yet again, evidence contradicts politically convenient, nationalist histories of the Cyprus Conflict, and of the plundering of Cypriot cultural heritage. Even during the intercommunal conflict, there was a bicommunal illicit antiquities trade; and still now, the communities need to stand together to fight against it.

Unfortunately, this collection catalogue only confirms my conclusion in the discussion of Karageorghis's (1975) rescue excavation report on (which had previously published some of the artefacts in this collection):
Sadly..., it seems that Greek Cypriot archaeologists knew of and accepted Greek Cypriot private collectors buying Greek Cypriot-looted antiquities in the areas controlled by the Greek Cypriot administration and its police.

... [P]rivate collectors bought Greek Cypriot-looted antiquities, rather than reporting the looters to the Greek Cypriot police; and archaeologists catalogued, legalised and published the collections of illicit antiquities, rather than reporting the collectors to the Greek Cypriot police.
Bibliography

Fehlmann, M. 2007: "On the situation of cultural heritage in northern Cyprus [Beobachtungen zu kulturellen Erbe in Nordzypern]". Paper presented at the Swiss UNESCO Commission Day of Information and Exchange on Two Years of Implementation in Switzerland of the Federal Law on the International Transfer of Cultural Property [Jourée d'Information et d'Échange sur Deux Ans d'Application en Suisse de la Loi Fédérale sur le Transfer International des Biens Culturels (LTBC)], Berne, Switzerland, 30th May.

Fehlmann, M. 2008: "Cyprus: Further looting – comment". Looting Matters [weblog], 21st August. Available at: http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2008/08/cyprus-further-looting.html?showComment=1219316580000#c1061419035593363467

Gill, D W and Chippindale, C. 1993: "Material and intellectual consequences of esteem for Cycladic figures". American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 97, Number 4, 601-659.

Gill, D W. 2008: "Cyprus and private collections". Looting Matters [weblog], 23rd August. Available at: http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2008/08/cyprus-and-private-collections.html

Karageorghis, V. 1975: Alaas: A Protogeometric necropolis in Cyprus. Nicosia: Republic of Cyprus Department of Antiquities.

Karageorghis, V. 1999: Ancient Cypriote art in the Severis Collection. Athens: Costakis and Leto Severis Foundation.

Karageorghis, V. 2010: Ancient Cypriote art in the Leto and Costakis Severis Collection. Nicosia: the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and the Leventis Municipal Museum, Nicosia.

Severis, D C. 1999: "Prologue". In Karageorghis, V, (Au.). Ancient Cypriote art in the Severis Collection, 6-8. Athens: Costakis and Leto Severis Foundation.

Severis, D C. 2010: "Prologue". In Karageorghis, V, (Au.). Ancient Cypriote art in the Leto and Costakis Severis Collection, 13-14. Nicosia: the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and the Leventis Municipal Museum, Nicosia.

Data

(Reading the original collection catalogue was perhaps my first attempt at collecting data from antiquities catalogues. I did not write down the numbers of the pages on which I found no information.)

The Severis Collection (1999)

001: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
002: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
003: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
004: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
005: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
006: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 22)
007: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 18)
008: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 18)
009: Turkish Cypriot Souskiou (Karageorghis, 1999: 18)
010: n.d., no info
011: n.d., no info
012: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
013: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
014: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
015: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
016: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
017: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
018: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
019: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 33)
020: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 33)
021: n.d., no info
022: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 43)
023: n.d., no info
024: n.d., no info
025: n.d., no info
026: n.d., no info
027: n.d., no info
028: n.d., no info
029: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
030: Turkish Cypriot Marki-Davari (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
031: n.d., no info
032: n.d., no info
033: n.d., no info
034: n.d., no info
035 Turkish Cypriot Marki/Kotchati (Karageorghis, 1999: 58)
036: n.d., no info
037: n.d., no info
038: n.d., no info
039: n.d., no info
040: n.d., no info
041: n.d., no info
042: n.d., no info
043: n.d., no info
044: n.d., no info
045: n.d., no info
046: n.d., no info
047: n.d., no info
048: n.d., no info
049: n.d., no info
050: n.d., no info
051: n.d., no info
052: n.d., no info
053: n.d., no info
054: n.d., no info
055: n.d., no info
056: n.d., no info
057: n.d., no info
058: n.d., no info
059: n.d., no info
060: n.d., no info
061: n.d., no info
062: n.d., no info
063: n.d., no info
064: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
065: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
066: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
067: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
068: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
069: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
070: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
071: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
072: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
073: n.d., no info
074: n.d., no info
075: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
076: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
077: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
078: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
079: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
080: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
081: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
082: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
083: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
084: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
085: near Turkish Cypriot Galinoporni (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
086: n.d., no info
087: n.d., no info
088: n.d., no info
089: n.d., no info
090: n.d., no info
091: n.d., no info
092: n.d., no info
093: n.d., no info
094: n.d., no info
095: n.d., no info
096: n.d., no info
097: n.d., no info
098: n.d., no info
099: n.d., no info
100: n.d., no info
101: n.d., no info
102: n.d., no info
103: n.d., no info
104: n.d., no info
105: n.d., no info
106: n.d., no info
107: n.d., no info
108: n.d., no info
109: n.d., no info
110: n.d., no info
111: n.d., no info
112: n.d., no info
113: n.d., no info
114: n.d., no info
115: n.d., no info
116: n.d., no info
117: n.d., no info
118: n.d., no info
119: n.d., no info
120: n.d., no info
121: n.d., no info
122: n.d., no info
123: n.d., no info
124: n.d., no info
125: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
126: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
127: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
128: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
129: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
130: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
131: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
132: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
133: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
134: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
135: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
136: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
137: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
138: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
139: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
140: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
141: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
142: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
143: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
144: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
145: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
146: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
147: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
148: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
149: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
150: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
151: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
152: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
153: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
154: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
155: ancient Alaas (near modern Greek Cypriot Gastria and Greek Cypriot majority mixed Agios Theodoros-Karpasias) (Karageorghis, 1999: 17; 166); ‘bought in the village of Patriki in 1973’ (Karageorghis, 1999: 17)
156: n.d., no info
157: n.d., no info
158: n.d., no info
159: n.d., no info
160: n.d., no info
161: n.d., no info
162: n.d., no info
163: n.d., no info
164: n.d., no info
165: n.d., no info
166: n.d., no info
167: n.d., no info
168: n.d., no info
169: n.d., no info
170: n.d., no info
171: n.d., no info
172: n.d., no info
173: n.d., no info
174: n.d., no info
175: n.d., no info
176: n.d., no info
177: n.d., no info
178: n.d., no info
179: n.d., no info
180: n.d., no info
181: n.d., no info
182: n.d., no info
183: n.d., no info
184: n.d., no info
185: n.d., no info
186: n.d., no info
187: n.d., no info
188: n.d., no info
189: n.d., no info
190: n.d., no info
191: n.d., no info
192: n.d., no info
193: n.d., no info
194: n.d., no info
195: n.d., no info
196: n.d., no info
197: n.d., no info
198: n.d., no info
199: n.d., no info
200: n.d., no info
201: n.d., no info
202: n.d., no info
203: n.d., no info
204: n.d., no info
205: n.d., no info
206: n.d., no info
207: n.d., no info
208: n.d., no info
209: n.d., no info
210: ancient Marion (modern Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou) (Karageorghis, 1999: 18; 258)
211: ancient Marion (modern Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou) (Karageorghis, 1999: 18; 258)
212: ancient Marion (modern Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou) (Karageorghis, 1999: 18; 258)
213: n.d., no info
214: n.d., no info
215: n.d., no info
216: n.d., no info
217: n.d., no info
218: n.d., no info
219: n.d., no info
220: n.d., no info
221: n.d., no info
222: n.d., no info
223: n.d., no info
224: n.d., no info
225: n.d., no info
226: n.d., no info
227: n.d., no info
228: n.d., no info
229: n.d., no info
230: n.d., no info
231: n.d., no info
232: n.d., no info
233: Marion (Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou) (Karageorghis, 1999: 258)
234: n.d., no info
235: n.d., no info
236: n.d., no info
237: n.d., no info
238: n.d., no info
239: n.d., no info
240: n.d., no info
241: n.d., no info
242: n.d., no info
243: n.d., no info
244: n.d., no info
245: n.d., no info
246: n.d., no info
247: n.d., no info
248: n.d., no info
249: n.d., no info
250: n.d., no info
251: n.d., no info
252: n.d., no info
253: n.d., no info
254: n.d., no info
255: n.d., no info
256: n.d., no info
257: n.d., no info

The Leto and Costakis Severis Collection (2010)

S1: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 173)
S2: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 174)
S3: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 174)
S4: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 175)
S5: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 175)
S6: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 176)
S7: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 176)
S8: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 177)
S9: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 177)
S10: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 177)
S11: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 178)
S12: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 179)
S13: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 179)
S14: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 180)
S15: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 181)
S16: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 182)
S17: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 182)
S18: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 184)
S19: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 185)
S20: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 187)
S21: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 187)
S22: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 188)
S23: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 189)
S24: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 189)
S25: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 190)
S26: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 190)
S27: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 190)
S28: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 191)
S29: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 191)
S30: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 192)
S31: no info, n.d. (Karageorghis, 2010: 192)

[Note inserted on the 8th of February 2011.]

3 comments:

  1. Grateful to check out your website, I seem to be ahead to more excellent sites and I wish that you wrote more informative post for us. Well done work.

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  2. If any single item in the collection were obtained illegally, as you claim, how do you explain that each and every one item has been numbered by and registered with the Cyprus Antiquities Department since 1978? Furthermore, how come that no authority in Cyprus has made a similar claim in the last five years, while the collection has been exhibited daily, in its entirety, in full view of the public, at the Leventeion Municipal Museum in Nicosia?

    Since you have no plausible explanation, either you did not know the above two facts which explains why I believe you to be ignorant.

    If you go back to the darker days of the Cyprus Republic, in a small part of the island after 1964 and in a larger part after 1974, the illegal Turkish tomb thieves were digging up and selling artifacts to anyone with cash. Discretely and totally unofficially, the Government of the Republic which was strapped for cash, let it be known that it would look the other way if certain Greek Cypriot collectors were to buy such artifacts and bring them South. In several trips, not without risk, the Severis family obtained such artifacts and added them to their already considerable collection, thus saving them from export and permanent loss to the Greek Cypriot public. The proof of the tacit agreement of the Government with such an initiative, came in 1978 when the whole collection (together with some others) was taken to the Cyprus Museum and recorded without ANY comment or allusion to illegality. So who are you to throw mud at a civic effort because of your own personal agenda? I ask that you retract what you said and apologise or else demonstrate why thirty seven years later and in full view of the public, there is still no comment or allusion to illegality from the appropriate authorities, as was the case for certain other collections.

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  3. I quoted directly from the publication of the collection, which was written by former antiquities director Vassos Karageorghis, who was the director of antiquities at the time under discussion.

    I discussed the tacit agreement (the silent accord) and explained its patriotic logic.

    Karageorghis (1999: 17) himself explicitly stated that the 'collection was formed mainly during the decade from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, when quite a lot of looting was taking place in Turkish Cypriote villages.... With the agreement of the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Department of Antiquities at that time decided to follow a policy of “silent accord”, allowing Cypriots who had access to the Turkish enclaves to buy the “spoils” of looting.... Thus, large private collections were formed, which their owners were asked to declare to the Department of Antiquities during the last six months of 1973. The most important of them are the Hadjiprodromou Collection (Famagusta), the Pierides Collection (Larnaca) and the Severis Collection (Nicosia).'

    To be absolutely clear, another former antiquities director, Sophocles Hadjisavvas (2001: 135), stated that 'all antiquities acquired were illegal in the sense that they all came from illicit excavations'.

    "My" claims were repetitions of the published statements of Greek Cypriot archaeologists. What is my alleged agenda?

    Since they are not my claims but the statements of those Greek Cypriot archaeologists, which statements should Karageorghis and Hadjisavvas retract?

    Hadjisavvas, S. 2001: “The destruction of the archaeological heritage of Cyprus”. In Brodie, N, Doole, J and Renfrew, C, (Eds.). Trade in illicit antiquities: The destruction of the world’s archaeological heritage, 133-139. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

    Karageorghis, V. 1999: Ancient Cypriote art in the Severis Collection. Athens: Costakis and Leto Severis Foundation.

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