Antique trafficking: former president of the Louvre museum indicted.

Jean-Luc Martinez, former president, and director of the Louvre Museum, was indicted on Wednesday in Paris for "laundering and complicity in fraud in an organized gang" and placed under judicial supervision in an investigation into trafficking in antiquities from the Near and the Middle East, we learned Thursday from a judicial source. Jean-Luc Martinez, who is now an ambassador for international cooperation in the field of heritage, was placed in police custody on Monday with two eminent Egyptologists in the premises of the Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Cultural Property ( OCBC). The former president and director of the museum has been indicted for "complicity in fraud in an organized gang and laundering by false facilitation of the origin of property from a crime or misdemeanour", specified the judicial source. The two specialists have been released without prosecution at this stage, the source said. According to Le Canard enchaîné, which announced the custody, investigators are looking into whether Jean-Luc Martinez "closed his eyes" to false certificates of origin for five pieces of Egyptian antiquity, including a pink granite stele of Tutankhamun, acquired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi "for several tens of millions of euros". Looting in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, or Syria A preliminary investigation into suspicions of trafficking in antiquities from unstable countries in the Near and Middle East was opened in July 2018 by the National Court in charge of the fight against organized crime (Junalco) of the Paris prosecutor's office. This traffic would concern hundreds of pieces and would involve several tens of millions of euros, according to sources close at the time. In this case, at least three other people are being prosecuted for "organized gang fraud, criminal association, and organized gang money laundering". An expert in Mediterranean archeology and her husband were indicted in June 2020 and placed under judicial supervision. They are suspected of having "laundered" archaeological objects looted in several countries plagued by instability since the beginning of the 2010s and the emergence of the Arab Spring: Egypt, Libya, Yemen or Syria. A German-Lebanese gallery owner was also remanded in custody last March. The OCBC is seeking to determine the conditions for the acquisition by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, via this gallery owner, of the five antiquities illegally taken out of Egypt, according to Le Canard enchaîné. Seen in Le Figaro video about Martinez indictment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Yo0lkOnMOQ

Antique trafficking: former president of the Louvre museum indicted.

Jean-Luc Martinez, former president, and director of the Louvre Museum, was indicted on Wednesday in Paris for "laundering and complicity...