An Update on the Case of the Stolen Oxyrhynchus Papyri

H/T Roberta Mazza: According to this article in The Oxford Blue, “Christ Church professor Dirk Obbink was arrested on 2nd March 2020 for alleged theft of ancient papyrus from the Sackler Classics Library in Oxford.” Further on, the article quotes Thames Valley Police: “A 63-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on 2 March on suspicion of theft and fraud. He has been released under investigation.”

[[Update 18 April 2020: The original story has been removed and replaced.]]

This entry was posted in Antiquities Dealers and Collectors, Dirk Obbink, Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to An Update on the Case of the Stolen Oxyrhynchus Papyri

  1. Patty Floyd says:

    Wow, and it’s just now coming out.

  2. James Dowden says:

    I wonder how they found out?

  3. Tim Skorick says:

    Amusing that the article actually repeats the debunked FCM claim …

  4. Greg Matthews says:

    Several new articles on the arrest of Obbink came out today. All pretty much saying the same thing except this one (dated two days ago) that mentions Scott Carroll and Jerry Pattengale making, perhaps, snide insinuations: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/oxford-professor-arrested-stolen-papyrus-1837650. This is the first I’ve seen these two mentioned in all of this aside from what we already have known (publically) for a while.

  5. Obbink now claims that the Papyri were placed in the Manuscript Witness Protection Program to keep them safe. Seriously, he said he took them to prevent them from being stolen (from being stolen and not sold for anything). Still wondering if anyone ever bothered to look for his “Assistants”. Has anyone bothered to check the sarcophagus in the corner of his game room? Look closely at his pants in the picture and you will notice that the Q bill is in his side pocket.

  6. And, as the Vampire said to Kolchak in the classic Night Stalker, “I’m afraid it’s even worse then you think”:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWdMu4RX0AcSJWN?format=jpg&name=large

    This helps explain why Obbink’s employer did so little with so much for so long.

  7. Yet again, you would not know from EES’ most current audited Financial Statements:

    https://www.ees.ac.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=1678f0fe-82e3-4268-885c-3285e1c80e3b

    that there was any significant theft/vulnerabilities to theft of EES’ inventory. More importantly, you would have no idea just how valuable EES’ inventory is. Theoretically, not reporting the theft/vulnerabilities would be a violation of Auditing standards. On the other hand, from a practical standpoint, the less the public knows about the theft/vulnerabilities/value of the inventory, the safer it is.

    Well just how valuable is the EES’ inventory? I would guess David Green would pay, [dramatic music] one billion dollars [/dramatic music] for it and Roberta Mazza (if she had it) would pay two billion dollars to prevent Green from acquiring it.

    [Allegedly] It already appears that Obbink was part of an organized effort to profit from it. The better question is just how large was the organization (this may partly explain his “motivation”). [/Allegedly]

    Again, a suggested compromise:

    EES loans some inventory to Green for display for a limited time but not limited amount. This way EES has not sold anything but receives the funds necessary to enter 21st century security capabilities.

  8. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings – On The Journey

  9. David Meadows ~ rogueclassicist says:

    Just to clarify, the P.Oxy collection is what is termed ‘heritage assets’ in the various reports and is not something which the accountants actually deal with. Funding for the P.Oxy side of things technically comes from elsewhere and doesn’t seem to be included in the financial reports.

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