Monday, March 18, 2019

JAMES BOND OF QUESTIONABLE ARTWORKS

I visited TEFAF 2019 yesterday in Maastricht. TEFAF stands for the European Fine Art Fair. I was speechless to see such high quality and rarely art works from all over the world. It was so fascinating to think of capability of humankind to create beautiful stuff beyond believe. A lot of details to observe and a lot of stories behind to find out. TEFAF was a spiritual journey for me. 

In one of the exhibition corners, my eyes catched a very interesting information. The Art Loss Register (ALR). It is a database about half million art objects that are stolen, missing and looted, as well as those subject to title disputes, freezing orders and financial liens, and within permanent collections. The database also includes details of works that have been reported with authenticity issues by police and foremost experts (resource: ALR brochure). This organization (or company) was founded in 1990 in England. Their service basically are three things: Register, Search and Recover.

Will Korner, the one who represented ALR in TEFAF 2019, told me that ALR is the only one in the world of such kind organizations. I couldn't help myself to say "Wow..." when I heard this, considering of time span and number of art works that have been stolen or looted. 

For Indonesia, this issue is very up-to-date and actual. In TEFAF 2019 I saw some antique objects that I wondered how they ended up there. I open options that they were legally acquired but knowing regulations about protection of national heritage, those objects must be related to the past.

In recent years there were some accidents happened in Indonesia that museum collections were stolen or dissapeared. If they are not solved yet, ALR can be of good option for solutions. The good news is that ALR offers its service for free for governments and public sector. Here we go! Please check the website link above to see more details of this organization. 


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