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html 2/20/2002 @ 12:01AM

Egyptian Antiquities Dealer Found Guilty

A federal jury in New York has found antiquities dealer Frederick Schultz Frederick Schultz guilty of violating U.S. law by conspiring to receive stolen Egyptian antiquities. The case is a first for New York, and the verdict is sure to send deep vibrations through the antiquities trade by criminalizing the conduct of an antiquities dealer based on a foreign law. We are very disappointed in the result, Linda Imes, one of Schultzs attorneys at the New York law firm Richards Spears Kibbe & Orbe, told The Art Newspaper. However, we intend to take an appeal. A Short Deliberation After deliberating for four and a half hours, the jury rendered its verdict on Feb. 12, following a twoweek trial. Schultz was charged with one count of violating the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA), which makes it a federal crime to knowingly receive, possess and sell goods that have crossed a state or U.S. boundary after being stolen. Schultz, who is former president of the New York gallery Frederick Schultz Ancient Art, will be sentenced on May 30. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from his crime. U.S. Attorney James B. Comey of the Southern District of New York praised the efforts of the FBI in the case and said, The looting of artifacts deprives nations of their heritage and humankind of valuable archaeological knowledge. This conviction sends the message that the United States will aggressively pursue such crimes and those who traffic in looted artifacts. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcia R. Isaacson and Peter G. Neiman were in charge of the prosecution. Recently Dug-Up Antiquities According to evidence at the trail and the governments indictment, from the early 1990s through May of 1996, Schultz agreed to receive and buy Egyptian antiquities from Jonathan Tokeley-Parry Jonathan Tokeley-Parry , a British national who had illegally obtained and removed the antiquities from Egypt, and later served three years in prison in England for his role in the conspiracy. Egyptian law declares all antiquities unearthed after 1983 to be state property, but Tokeley-Parry provided Schultz with antiquities that had been recently found in the ground by local farmers and builders. And, Tokeley-Parry testified, he obtained other antiquities that he provided to Schultz from corrupt members of the Egyptian antiquities police. The Phantom Collection Of Thomas Alcock Also according to evidence at the trial and the indictment, to make it appear that the objects were legally removed from Egypt after 1983, Schultz falsely told potential buyers that the antiquities came from various old collections and falsely claimed that he obtained Egyptian antiquities from the Thomas Alcock Collection, which he said belonged to an English family since the 1920s. The evidence at trial established that the Thomas Alcock Collection was a complete fiction, created by

Schultz and Tokeley-Parry to hide the stolen nature of the antiquities, said the U.S. Attorneys Office. A Fine Head And George According to evidence at the trial, Schultz tried to sell an antiquity he procured from Tokeley-Parry, a head of the 18th-dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III, to a possible museum buyer for $2.5 million, describing it as the finest ancient Egyptian object on the market and eventually selling it for $1.2 million. Another object that trial evidence showed Schultz obtained from Tokeley-Parry, nicknamed George, was a sixth-dynasty limestone-striding figure, which Schultz tried to sell for $825,000. A U.S. Criminal Charge, Based On A Foreign Law Schultz had sought to dismiss the indictment, asking the court to rule that antiquities could not be considered stolen merely because an Egyptian law declares them to be state property. But the federal district court for the Southern District of New York disagreed, sending the case to trial on Jan. 28. The decision was seen as a major victory for supporters of national patrimony laws, which are enacted by foreign nations seeking to control the illicit trade in antiquities dug up from their soil. The case attracted wide attention. Dealings in foreign antiquities subject to foreign patrimony laws had resulted in criminal punishment outside of New York, but it was not known whether the case here would reach the same result. In seeking to dismiss the indictment, Schultz was supported in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by dealer groups, including Christies, the Art Dealers Association of America and the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive Art. In an opposing court brief, the Archaeological Institute of America and other groups supported the indictment. The Inscrutable Second Circuit Schultzs appeal will place before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit the question of whether a foreign patrimony law can make an object stolen for purposes of bringing a criminal charge under the NSPA. Recently, the Second Circuit deftly dodged a similar question, offering only a few bare hints of its thinking, which lawyers scrambled to decipher. Like an oracle that can barely be urged to mutter, it will now be prodded to speak to this question again. 2002 The Art Newspaper