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Old 03-15-2012, 07:13 AM
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Law Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

Well, after seven years on trial, a Jerusalem District Court judge returned a mixed verdict against "James Ossuary" pimp Oded Golan: not guilty on the forgery charges, guilty on four counts of violating laws against the traffic in antiquities and possession of stolen property. The judge basically threw up his hands and said it was not possible to establish beyond a reasonable doubt whether the "James, brother of Jesus" inscription was forged, but he made a point to underscore that in no way was the court declaring the inscription authentic either.

We have an old thread on the saga here which features Clutch Munny's excellent correspondence with the Royal Ontario Museum who displayed the ossuary pretty much as soon as it made the news and just a few months before the Israeli Antiquities Authority declared it a fraud and arrested Oded. Read that and then read this article in which the museum's director of collections management merrily rewrites history fronting like they were just teaching the controversy instead of actively supporting the authenticity of the inscription.

Bah humbug. There is a silver lining, though.

Quote:
Responding to the ruling, the [Israeli Antiquities] Authority said that the highprofile case had had many positive results, including almost completely stopping the antiquities market from publishing finds without first knowing their place of discovery; almost entirely halting the trade in written documents and seals from illicit excavations; and dramatically reducing the scope of antiquities robbery.
:soapbox: alert!

See, this is why source countries have been going after museums and collectors who have been dealing in stolen and looted antiquities for decades in contravention of the UN Convention and tons of national laws prohibiting illegal export of cultural property. Because it fucking works. Even if you don't get a specific artifact back, even if the trials drag on for a decade and only end when the statute of limitations runs out, even if there's no ultimate conviction, putting some heat on these weasels has a perceptible effect on the overall traffic in loot.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

This should make you happy, Liv. 800-year-old frescoes returned to Cyprus.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

And this should make you, sad? Angry? I'm not going to tell you how to feel.

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Old 03-15-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

So, you aren't going to tell Liv how to feel. You are just going to leave her languishing in an emotional limbo.

If not you, who?
If not here, where?
If not now, when?

You should be ashamed of yourself, shirking your responsibility in such a cowardly fashion!
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

Then you should feel ashamed, Ang. Really!
:sniff:
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I do, Qing, I really do.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

Yeah...Conflicting expert evidence on the fraudulent manufacture portion. It clouded the evidence enough to provide the jurists means to leave Oded an out. It's not that Golan didn't (re)fabricate it, it's just that the state didn't prove that.

I'm sure the ossuary will continue to provide an aesthetic setting on top of the toilet tank in Golan's rooftop antiquities workshop crapper. It was insured for $2 million, y'know. While it was in Canuckistan.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I can't even believe a major metropolitan newspaper like the Los Angeles Times would publish such an astonishingly bullshit-filled article. Every single word in this first paragraph is flat-out wrong or so deceptive it borders on malpractice:

Quote:
A limestone box bearing the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" in Aramaic appears to be genuine, the prestigious Biblical Archaeology Review said Wednesday in a long story written by editor Hershel Shanks. The ossuary, dating from AD 63, has been highly controversial, with Israeli authorities claiming it is a forgery and prosecuting antiquities dealer Oded Golan, who originally sold it. That trial ended in March when a judge dismissed the charges, saying that the prosecutor had not proved claims that the ossuary was a fake.
Let's break it down.

Quote:
A limestone box bearing the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" in Aramaic appears to be genuine
The box is widely acknowledged to be genuine. Nobody that I know of contests the age of the ossuary itself.

Quote:
the prestigious Biblical Archaeology Review said Wednesday
The BAR has a very strong pro-Biblical accuracy agenda. To call it "prestigious" suggests that it is a reputable unbiased scholarly journal. It's not. BAR made the announcement of the "find" at the first press conference.

Quote:
in a long story written by editor Hershel Shanks.
Who has been pimping the inscription since the first day Oded took it off the back of the shitter on his roof and thrust it into the media spotlight.

Quote:
The ossuary, dating from AD 63, has been highly controversial, with Israeli authorities claiming it is a forgery
The Israeli Antiquities Authority does not claim the ossuary is a forgery. It claims the inscription is a forgery.

Quote:
and prosecuting antiquities dealer Oded Golan
The IAA is not an arm of the judiciary. Golan was prosecuted by a state prosecutor in a Jerusalem District Court.

Quote:
who originally sold it.
He originally bought it under nebulous context-less circumstances. He still owns it.

Quote:
That trial ended in March when a judge dismissed the charges
Uh no. See the title of this thread.

Quote:
saying that the prosecutor had not proved claims that the ossuary was a fake.
Inscription. He said there was too much conflicting expert testimony for the court to determine whether the inscription was fake.

It doesn't get any better. The rest of the article is an uncritical repetition of Shanks' argument, complete with the constant conflation of ossuary and inscription. Then there's this absurd falsehood:

Quote:
The controversial box was discovered in a private collection by paleographer Andre Lemaire of the Sorbonne University in Paris, but it has never been clear where the box was originally found.
Andre Lemaire was invited by Oden Golan to examine the ossuary at his apartment, the same apartment where shortly thereafter cops found a workshop filled with half-finished "antiquities."

Lemaire declared the inscription authentic and published it in, wait for it, the Biblical Archaeology Review. He discovered nothing. There was no "private collection" and it has never been clear where the box was originally found because Golan, like all so-called antiquities dealers who daily traffic in looted artifacts, is intentionally vague about where he got it and what he knows about its existence before then.

I don't even know what kind of retraction the LA Times could possibly print to make up for all the out-and-out lies in this article. It's appalling.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

Thank you for pointing out what butt-wipe BAR really is...but if one knows Shanks and his agenda, that's a given.

Hershel Shanks deserves a very large portion of butthurt, IMHO.

Lemaire should be drummed out of the Sorbonne for encouraging the illicit traffic in antiquities.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I wish. If institutions were to start giving a crap about whether their employees were knee-deep in illicit antiquities, there would be tumbleweeds rolling down the hallowed halls.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I suspect that the LA Times is pandering to the very museum that is well known for several unethical purchases the Huntington Museum.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

The publisher of the New York Times is on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his paper spent years defending the Met's blatantly and knowingly illegal purchase of the Euphronios Krater. Those fuckers are all shamelessly in bed with each other.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus View Post
I can't even believe a major metropolitan newspaper like the Los Angeles Times would publish such an astonishingly bullshit-filled article.
So the media publish bullshit, livius. I thought this was an egregious example, but few here (bey was a welcome exception) seemed to see it or care much about it. I wish you better luck generating interest in your cause.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I have emailed a more stentorian version of my above post to the LA Times ombudsman and cc'd the Science section. Let's see if I get an answer.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

I'm betting that the 'urinalist' who wrote the LAT piece is some kind of fawning scyophant and/or grand nephew of Shanks.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Oded Golan Acquitted of Forgery, Convicted of Antiquities Trafficking

And probably a big fan of Baby Jesus too.
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