I recommend an article in the current Forbes Magazine on the growing trend by foriegn governments to repatriate stolen artifacts ("The Return of the Mummy, Collecting antiquities used to be fun adventure. But now that other countries are repatriating their most valuable treasures, you stand to lose it all" Forbes, 12/22/03). This has been a fairly hot news topic over the past several years and I strongly feel that the concept will find it's way into Jones IV -- as we all know just wanting to put a relic in a museum isn't morally acceptable when the relic is being taken from it's home country. Here's an excerpt that I typed by hand (I only have a print subscription and Forbes online requires a subscription):
"This past fall Guatemalan police recovered a 600-pound Mayan alter from a gang of looters. In the last six years customs officials in China have nabbed more than 25,000 pieces of artifacts illegaly bound for international markets, says Cultural Heritage Watch, a nongovernmental group based in Bejing. Italian police recently exposed a smuggling ring in the Adriatic port of Bari, chargin 16 people with selling illicit antiquities. Last month a senior Eqyptian official was caught trying to sell a recently excavated mummy to an undercover officer posing as an antiquities dealer. An Assyrian gypsum relief that had been excavated by Iraqi archeologists in teh 1970s, and is estimated to be worth $1.7 million, turned up in England last year and is currently being held in Scotland Yard. All these artifacts were prusumably on their way to some rich person's foyer."
"To stay out of the pokey and hold onto their goods, collectors have to meet difficult legal standards. They must avoid objects that they know violate so-called patrimony laws, which allow governments of "source" countries to declare ownership of all antiquities within their borders that have not been unearthed."