Auction houses Christie’s and Bonham’s have had to remove items from their sales after alumnus Dr Christos Tsirogiannis identified potential cases of illicit trade.
Christie’s were set to auction a glass wine jug, called an oinochoe, estimated at £4,000-6,000. However, Christos was able to identify that the oinochoe was similar to one included in an archive of objects traded by the convicted antiquities trafficker, Giacomo Medici. Christie’s have subsequently removed the wine jug from sale, pending further research into its history.
Similarly, Bonham’s were set to auction a 3rd Century BC Pottery Box, estimated at £3,000-5,000, before Christos demonstrated its correspondence with an item supposedly trafficked by the convicted Gianfrano Becchina. Again, the auction house is investigating these findings.
Christos was able to utilise archives in his research that were unavailable to the auction houses, and these findings build upon his previous identification of illegally traded antiquities.
As Christos said, “This case is not an unusual case. This is happening at least once a year.”
Read the BBC’s article here.