In Response to: Raider of the Lost Art

The article about looted antiquities (“Raider of the Lost Art,” October issue) was excellent, but it raises, and fails to address, a very significant question: When and under what circumstances can museums and private collectors acquire, and then legitimately claim to own, antiquities? Stated another way, when and under what circumstances are antiquities not considered unlawfully looted from their places of origin?

Editor’s note: The Association of Art Museum Directors guidelines, which were briefly mentioned in PAW’s story, advise museums to “thoroughly research the ownership history of a work prior to its acquisition, including making a rigorous effort to obtain accurate written documentation with respect to its history, including import and export documents.”

Hamilton Osborne Jr. ’65
Columbia, S.C.