U.S. Received Influx of $100 Million in Artifacts from Egypt and Turkey in 2016

U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repatriated five illegally smuggled ancient artifacts to the government of Egypt, including a mummy hand from the 8th century BCE, in Dec.  2016.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repatriated five illegally smuggled ancient artifacts to the government of Egypt, including a mummy hand from the 8th century BCE, in Dec. 2016.
(ICE)

Live Science reports that about $50 million in artifacts were shipped from each Egypt and Turkey to the United States in 2016  — the highest annual value from each of those countries in at least 20 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau documents.

Documents reveal that antique gold coins made up a vast majority of shipments in 2016, and New York is the primary destination in the U.S. Resale value of the objects is unknown.

Determining which pieces are looted artifacts, including items smuggled into Turkey from war-torn Syria and Iraq, is a challenge. Misleading descriptions, a lack of photographs and fake documentation can hinder the detection of loot through customs. 

Live Science notes the issues in monitoring shipments: "The U.S. Census Bureau documents show that many of the artifacts are shipped under vague headings, such as 'antiques of an age exceeding 100 years.' Another vague heading simply states that the artifacts in a shipment are 'Collection and Collectors’ Pieces of Archaeological, Historical or Ethnographic Interest'.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increasingly repatriated antiquities that have entered the marketplace. ICE reported in December that it had "returned more than 80 items to Egypt in four repatriations since 2007. ICE has returned more than 7,800 artifacts to over 30 countries, since 2007, including paintings from France, Germany, Poland and Austria, 15th-18th century manuscripts from Italy and Peru, cultural artifacts from China, Cambodia, and two Baatar dinosaur fossils to Mongolia, antiquities and Saddam Hussein-era objects returned to Iraq, and most recently a 14th century Italian manuscript."

More News Feed Headlines

John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California.  Muir wrote: "Any fool can destroy trees.  Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries ...  God has cared for these trees...but he cannot save them from fools -- only Uncle Sam can do that." - Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10.

Most Members Quit National Park Service Advisory Panel in Protest

  • January 17, 2018 14:24

This week, 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members have resigned, leaving the ...

Read More

Google App Finds Your Face Match in Historical Paintings

  • January 15, 2018 21:15

Ever wondered what your doppelgänger looked like if painted by the likes of Gainsborough, Sargent ...

Read More

View southwest at the new U.S.  Embassy London in Nine Elms, across park.  Photographer: Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com

Cutting-Edge U.S. Embassy in London Opens Chock-Full of Art This Week

  • January 14, 2018 23:09

The 1960s building that housed the U.S. embassy in London needed costly renovations and posed ...

Read More

A white ground oil vessel taken in the raid.

Manhattan DA Seizes More Antiquities from Billionaire Collector

  • January 06, 2018 16:47

Antiquities that prosecutors say were looted from Greece and Italy were taken from the Manhattan ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire