Saturday, January 26, 2008


Federal agents, including the IRS and ICE staged coordinated early morning raids on LACMA, the Pacific Asia Museum, the Bowers Museum and the Mingei International Museum. The focus of the raids was to gather evidence showing museum officials knowingly accepted donations of illegally obtained artifacts, in particular items from the Ban Chiang culture of Thailand. The museums alledgely encouraged over-evaluations of the donated items for tax purposes. Two local art dealers are accused of "masterminding" the sale and donations of these illegal artifacts through an undercover agent posing as an art collector.

All of the southern California press covered this story and it was on all of the local news stations on Thursday, the 24th and Friday, the 25th. I am including the links for two articles from the LA Times, but additional stories can be found on Orange County Register and San Diego Union websites. The affivdafits are fascinating (the links are found with the articles). It may be necessary to sign up to read the LA Times articales, but it easy to do.

"Raids Suggest a Deeper Network of Looted Art"
Even after scandals Southland museums pursued suspect artifacts, warrants say.
By Jason Felch, Times Staff Writer
Friday, January 25th, 2008,1,5801906,full.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

"Museum Didn't Need This Publicity"
Santa Ana's Bowers has long sought the attention in the art world. But not from a federal raid.
By Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer
Saturday, January 26th, 2008,0,559952.story

1 comment:

TribalArtery said...

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Wanna return the favor? You don't have to. But it would be helpful.