Louvre Abu Dhabi, Louvre Museum and Louvre Museum announced Monday that they will join a civil party to investigate the trafficking in looted antiquities from the Near and Middle East. In this investigation, a former president and largest museum in the World has been examined.
"Given today's scandal and the Louvre Abu Dhabi being the first victim, it is impossible that we don't constitute a civil party," stated Me Jean-Jacques Neuer on behalf of the cultural institution. one of the most powerful emirates in the United Arab Emirates.
"The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the victim in trafficking in Egyptian antiquities, even though it's a landmark cultural institution that is well-known around the globe. She is an expert on these topics and has impeccable ethics. "He added.
In a press release, the Louvre Museum stated that it would do the same Monday evening. It also highlighted "with force" the "total, continuous, and acknowledged commitment" of its scientific team "to combat the illicit trafficking in cultural property".
Jean-Luc Martinez, the former president and director at the Louvre was indicted Wednesday for "complicity and fraud in an organised gang and laundering of false facilitation the origin of property aus a crime or misdemeanor". He was placed under judicial surveillance. According to his defense, he disputes the facts with "the greatest firmness".
Le Canard Enchaine revealed that the investigators were questioning Martinez. They want to know if Martinez would have "turned his blind eye" to fake certificates of origin for five pieces of Egyptian antiquity purchased "for several tens to millions of euros by Louvre Abu Dhabi." One of these pieces is a pink granite stave engraved with King Tutankhamun's name.
In July 2018, the National Court in Paris charged with the fight against organized criminality opened a preliminary investigation that was entrusted by the Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Cultural Property. In February 2020, the investigations were assigned to an investigating judge. In this case, at least three others were indicted: a merchant, an expert in Mediterranean archeology and a German-Lebanese owner of a gallery.
According to close sources, this traffic would cover hundreds of pieces and cost several tens or millions of euros.