Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colorado Man Pleads Guilty in Four Corners Case

In March, Loot! reported on the suicide of Ted Gardiner, a 52 year-old former grocery store CEO and artifacts dealer who was one of 26 individuals from three states charged with illegal trading of antiquities.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that 0ne individual charged in the case pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two misdemeanors. Robert B. Knowlton admitted to illegally selling a Native American pipe. The buyer was an undercover operative for the Bureau of Land Management. Court reports indicate that the pipe was excavated from Bureau land.

The misdemeanors each carry with them a year of prison and and a $10,000 fine. Sentencing will be on November 19.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Raid Leads to Discovery of Ancient Underground Tomb

A raid of the home of individuals suspected of illegally digging for antiquities in Turkey led to the discovery of two tunnels from the house to an ancient tomb.

The AP reports that Turkey's Culture Minister described the discovery in western Turkey as an "important archaeological find" and called for legal archaeological digs in the area. 5 individuals were arrested in connection to this discovery and the ministry suspects they looted and sold antiquities from the tomb on the black market.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Appeal Rejected in Case of Tibetan Environmentalist

The Washington Post reports today that a Chinese court has rejected an appeal from Tibetan environmentalist and philanthropist Karma Samdrup, who was sentenced on June 24 to 15 years in prison for robbing and dealing with looted antiquities. The charges against Samdrup date back to 1998, when he is said to have aquired looted artifacts, but were not pursued until this year.

Samdrup's attorney maintains that his client acquired the objects in good faith. The environmentalist's supporters have argued that the charges were brought against Samdrup after he pubically expressed support for his two brothers, who were detained after they accused Tibetan officials of poaching endangered species in Tibet. The supporters see the charges as punishment for Samdrup's decision to speak against Tibetan authoriies.