Why You Shouldn’t Buy Icons and Religious Artifacts on Vacation
Everyone has heard of illicit antiquities trading and looting. However, people continue to buy icons and religious artifacts from questionable sources. This is especially true when they are on vacation. Another country and culture in combination with the desire to own a piece of history do their thing. Moreover, people become even more susceptible to these influences when it comes to antique icons and relics associated with the life and death of Jesus Christ and His saints. Unfortunately, most of such acquisitions end in disappointment. Therefore, no matter whether you are going to buy icons or religious artifacts, do it wisely. After all, you don’t want to deal with different types of deception and fraud or contribute to the functioning of the black art market. Here are five main reasons why you should not buy icons and other religious artifacts on vacation!
1. Most likely, you will buy a fake. Chances are the mysterious antique icon, figurine, or any other religious artifact you have found somewhere during your vacation is a fake produced for tourists. Even though such trading activity is prohibited and punished in many countries, the truth is that these laws are rarely followed.
2. You will support looting of artifacts. Even if you are lucky enough to find something authentic and antique, do not rush to buy it. The fact is that such antique icons and artifacts are likely to be stolen or come from archaeological looting. As a result, by buying it, you will destroy the chance for archaeologists to understand the past and the context of the found object.
3. You will sponsor wars and international conflicts. The reality is that the black art market is closely related to terrorism and international conflicts. This simply means that when you buy icons and religious artifacts from questionable sources, you help violent extremist groups and wars; not to mention that your purchase will lead to further destroying and damaging of archaeological sites.
4. You will break the law. Let’s not forget that bringing authentic antique icons and religious artifacts back to your home is illegal in most countries. Therefore, before to actually buy any icon or relic on vacation, make sure you don’t break the law. After all, the punishment can be extremely frustrating, to say the least.
5. You won’t be able to sell or donate the item. If you don’t have an appropriate agreement for sale, or the antique icon or artifact you’ve bought has less-than-clean bills of sale, you will never sell or donate it in future. None of the museums or religious icon collectors will accept an item without good documentation.
In this way, to buy icons and relics on vacation is undoubtedly a bad idea. If for any reason, you still want to do it, it is highly recommended to consult a trustworthy appraiser or a lawyer specializing in cultural heritage, antiquities, and art. However, instead of buying questionable artifacts, it is always better to purchase icons and other relics from a reliable company or dealer.