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Hoover exhibit canceled over questionable artifacts
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · April 25, 2019

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum last week canceled the opening of the Rosetta Stone exhibit after a professor raised questions regarding the authenticity of a majority of the items.
University of Iowa Associate Professor Bjorn Anderson of the Art and Art History department wrote an April 10 letter to the museum stating that 90 of 125 items in the exhibit, set to open Friday, “are either definite or very likely fakes.”

The company that owns the exhibit is the Origins Museum Institute. The institute’s Marty Martin said he purchased the items about 20 years ago and did not know the items were forgeries.

“It’s a horrible situation,” Martin said. “We had been assured they were authentic pieces and paid handsomely for them.”

Anderson’s letter states that many, if not all, of the items appear to be from Sadigh Gallery of New York. Martin stated that he purchased the items from Sadigh Gallery.

Michael Sadigh said he has run the Sadigh Gallery for more than 15 years but it would be difficult for him to speak to an antiquities sale that long ago.

“I don’t know anything about this,” Sadigh said. “I wasn’t here 20 years ago. They purchased it 20 years ago and somebody now says they’re not real? I don’t know what to say.”

Hoover Library and Museum Director Thomas Schwartz said that the claims of authenticity were key to canceling​ the opening​.

“A great many pieces were presented as authentic and that’s wherein the problem lies,” Schwartz said.

Martin said he does not have the “authority or expertise” to authenticate the items in the Rosetta Stone exhibit, and that he made that clear to the Hoover Museum, and trusted that they were authentic because the seller stated so.

“I didn’t mislead them about giving guarantees,” Martin said. “We trusted the source we got them from. They assured us they were authentic. I do not want (the Hoover Museum) to think we tried to fool them. I was proud of owning those pieces.”

Schwartz said Anderson and graduate assistant Erin Daly on April 5 examined the Rosetta Stone exhibit after the museum invited them to give a talk in June on some of the exhibit highlights. Anderson said he and Daly, an expert on Zodiac seals, visited and took pictures of the items to take back to their offices.

Anderson said that, while they were leaving, Daly commented that she was suspicious of the seals on many of the items, adding that “I’ve never seen any that big or that nice.”

When they looked at, they found many other items with seals of similar quality, and Anderson wondered — and mentioned in his findings to the museum — how the gallery’s website could offer “11 copies of the same statue for sale” if the statues are authentic.

He noted that statues of the same shape can be purchased in different patinas — green, gold, blue, etc.

“How does this work?” he said.

Anderson sent a letter to the museum on April 10 laying out the evidence. Schwartz said after reviewing Anderson’s letter and its appendices that it appeared that the possibility of making these items this way “in the ancient world was next to nil.”

The Hoover Museum arranged the exhibit, but the Hoover Presidential Foundation provided the funding. Foundation President Jerry Fleagle said he supports Schwartz’s decision to cancel and the Foundation wants a refund from Origins Museum.

“I support Tom — he made the right decision,” Fleagle said. “I’m sure that if he knew ahead of time (about the forgeries) he wouldn’t have booked the exhibit.”

From talking with museum staff, Fleagle believes the research was thorough to reach the conclusion the pieces were fake.

“There were just way too many questions,” he said. “You can’t put out an exhibit and advertise the exhibit when it’s not authentic.”

Schwartz said that many traveling exhibits include replicas — and state that up-front — for a variety of reasons, like security and insurance purposes. He said Origins Museum truthfully reported that the centerpiece item, the Rosetta Stone, was cast from the original.

Schwartz said that when museums display exhibits with replicas, they identify those pieces as such in the exhibit. However, after some discussion regarding the Rosetta Stone exhibit, the staff felt it inappropriate even putting the items on display with a note that the items were reproductions or facsimiles.

“We could say the Rosetta Stone was cast from the original, but for the other pieces, we didn’t know if they had actual counterparts someplace,” the director said. “So, after a lot of discussions with Professor Anderson and people in Washington and the Foundation, we thought it was just prudent to cut our losses and not open the show.”

Fleagle said the Foundation put up half of the cost for the exhibit a year and a half ago when it booked the date and paid the second half when the items arrived at the museum.

He declined to share the amount paid, but said it was “not as expensive as others, but not a small amount, either.”

“It will take some time to get our money back,” he said. “I’d rather do it friendly and not use legal action.”

Martin agreed that the Hoover Museum should cancel his company’s exhibit based on their findings.

“This is a terrible calamity for us,” Martin said. “My sympathies go with the people who took them in good faith. I’ve been in communication with the gallery, and they deny the questioning of the authenticity.”

Sadigh said he did not remember receiving a call from Martin regarding the Rosetta Stone exhibit.

“I talk to hundreds of people a day here,” he said. “I will have to do some research.”

Martin said he will seek reparations from Sadigh, which he hopes to use to reimburse the Foundation.

Sadigh said he does not want any bad publicity for his gallery and considered a news article based on someone’s verbal statement regarding his company “not proper.”

“I’m trying to help you as much as I can,” he told the Times. “I don’t like to get wrong or bad publicity. … I do not want to be accused.”

Fleagle noted that legal action is not out of the question and that many of the Foundation board of trustees are themselves lawyers.

“This is a disappointment to everybody all the way around,” Fleagle said. “Fortunately it was discovered before rather than after. Now we can move forward.”

Back-up plan

It so happens that the museum already had an exhibit prepared, Schwartz said.

Due to the five-week-long partial government shutdown that ended in late January, the museum had to cancel an exhibit already in the works and organized by its own staff.

That exhibit, “Collaborative Collectors: Herbert and Lou Hoover,” will replace the Rosetta Stone exhibit, which Schwartz said will be ready by May 18 and run through October 27.

Fleagle said he was glad to see the previously canceled exhibit of rarely seen Hoover items now get a chance for public viewing.

“I can guarantee they will all be authentic,” Fleagle said. “It will be a good exhibit.”
FAKE-RING-data base / Re: Real or Fake?
« Last post by Kelly123 on July 08, 2021, 03:32:38 PM »
You should ask for a refund and send it back AND leave negative feedbck.
Because every time this cheating fraudster is successful in swindling someone it encourages him yet more.
FAKE-RING-data base / Re: Real or Fake?
« Last post by cyberdemonx2002 on July 08, 2021, 01:53:45 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, guys, much appreciated. Yes indeed i purchased it from Antiquiti on ebay. Had no clue who he was at the time. Only paid £26 though. Probably worthless, then. Wonder if it's even silver as claimed. Have now thoroughly read the threads concerning antiquiti/mike. May just keep it as an oddity given i didn't pay much. God sake😆🤦🏻
FAKE-RING-data base / Re: Real or Fake?
« Last post by gaius asinius on July 07, 2021, 10:57:13 PM »
This is certainly an interesting piece, but I to have doubts as to its authenticity. It doesn't fit neatly into any recognizable category, and appears a fanciful amalgam of elements, e.g., the central cruciform comprised of stems (?), the ring and dot motif, and the fronds around the periphery. Similar band shapes are attested from the late medieval  centuries but genuine examples hardly qualify as Byzantine artifacts. Looks suspiciously like a Bulgaro-fake or similar ripoff.
FAKE-RING-data base / Re: Real or Fake?
« Last post by oldthings on July 07, 2021, 08:45:42 PM »

No it's not Roman. And I seriously doubt it is a "detector find".

The style is late Byzantine/early Medieval. So many hundreds of years post !"Roman".

It has a surface seemingly devoid of a patina. Unless it has very over vigorously cleaned.
But unfortunately more likely a copy/fake made in Bulgaria.

From the photo, the tweezers holding it, I suspect it is from Mr Michael Davies, one of the biggest seller of fakes on eBay.
Anything from him at "antiquiti"
or his website MDAntiquities
 is extemely unlikely  to be genuine.

Have you not seen this thread?,1151.0.html

Sorry for this bad news!
FAKE-RING-data base / Real or Fake?
« Last post by cyberdemonx2002 on July 07, 2021, 12:08:29 PM »
Hello there, purchased as a claimed metal detect find. Supposedly Roman. Can anyone give their opinions?

TOP TEN antiquiti / Re: antiquiti aca mikes-artefacts
« Last post by oldthings on May 09, 2021, 07:19:56 PM »
Who says crime doen't pay? Se images below about Mr Davies  ill gotten gains. This is the sort of money eBay helps  such criminals to make. Disgraceful!
TOP TEN hands_of _history / Re: egdirdlewendy
« Last post by Jerry F on May 08, 2021, 04:58:26 PM »
He seems to be doing quite well: who says crime doesn't pay?
See screenshots below.
TOP TEN hands_of _history / Re: egdirdlewendy
« Last post by Archaic on May 08, 2021, 03:14:29 PM »
Has changed the  name of his ID and his company to

But still use the handsofhistory emailaddress

Business seller information
Ancient Hands Ltd
18 Stonedene Close
Forest Row
East Sussex
RH18 5DB
United Kingdom
Company registration number: 11483322
VAT number:
GB 300913547
TOP TEN ant1quity / Re: ant1quity
« Last post by oldthings on May 04, 2021, 05:08:02 PM »
This guy can't even be bothered to find out what his fakes ae supposed to be! He just makes it all up.
See photos for more examples.
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