Museum Group Tightens Rules on Acquiring Antiquities

The Association of Art Museum Directors has strengthened its regulations on acquisition of ancient artifacts, adding a requirement that institutions publicize information about items that do not meet previously established standards, writes The New York Times.

Under the new rules, approved at the association’s meeting this week in Kansas City, Mo., museums face censure or expulsion from the organization if they do not post pictures and information on the provenance of questionable artifacts on a Web site set up by the directors’ body.

Many institutions have posted such information since 2008, when the association adopted guidelines to help curtail the trade in looted antiquities, but there was no sanction for museums that did not do so. The issue of policing such acquisitions has become increasingly contentious among museums, collectors, archaeologists, and countries seeking to recover cultural treasures.

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