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News: Auctions
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Cypriot limestone head of a Kore, ca. late 6th c. B.C.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Two Cypriot heads sold by Sotheby’s

Walk of Truth had demanded their withdrawal

The Walk of Truth (WoT) demanded the withdrawal of two ancient Cypriot heads that were scheduled for auction at Sotheby’s, in New York, until their provenance was clarified.

WOT took this initiative following information given to it by Mr. Stelios Perdikis, Curator of the Kykkos Monastery Museum in Cyprus. In its letter it is mentioned that: “Cyprus has been a victim of looting and the destruction of its cultural heritage ever since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island. The occupied area of Cyprus (by Turkey) has endured unprecedented looting of its churches, ancient monuments and religious artifacts, which are illegally sold abroad.

In its reply, Sotheby’s informed WoT that “they believe these heads were exported from Cyprus before 1974 and were not “illegally sold.”

The two heads

As mentioned in the Sotheby’s catalogue regarding the two limestone heads: one is “The head of God, Priest or Votary” and is dated between 490-450 B.C. and valued at $6.000-8.000 and the other is “The head of Kore” of the 6th century B.C. valued between $8.000-12.000.

The auction took place on Friday, December 12, 2014, and the two heads were sold for 20,000USD and 25,000USD respectively.

The WoT organization is raising serious issues with the auction house in their request to “investigate the provenance of the artifacts thoroughly and prove with certificates and other relevant information, the dates these pieces were exported from Cyprus. As mentioned in the letter of WoT founder, Tasoula Hadjitofi, “the auction houses must be transparent in their actions and should be responsible for investigating what they auction and what they place on sale.”

NOTES
1. WtO
2. Sotheby's