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A word of warning…

Item Number: 100049
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DescriptionFor the folks who happen to read this, and also happen to shop on eBay, I have come across a new seller that is most worrisome. The problem is not that the guy is selling fakes – he isn’t. In fact he is selling authentic items that are priced well below market values. Most of what he sells is priced at prices I would be buying if I could. But I can’t. He currently has several nice Maya Copador bowls, starting prices ranging between $59 and $79 for sale. Avoid this guy like the plague! Why, you might ask.

The seller goes under the name far_25. He is located in San Salvador, El Salvador and is selling authentic Mayan bowls and ceremonial objects and shipping them directly from El Salvador to the US or Europe. Now there are many things about the laws covering cultural patrimony that I will admit I do not fully understand, but I am just about 100% sure that what he is doing is illegal in about 117 countries around the world – including his own. If you are located in the US, and purchase from him, you too are breaking the law. Should a package sent from him to you be nabbed by Customs, they will seize this item, have probable cause that you are involved in smuggling and can possibly confiscate your entire collection.

That all sounds pretty bad – right? Now what if I tell you it is also possible that this entire operation might be a sting operation set up between the US Customs Department and the El Salvador National Police? I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but trust me, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that these two agencies are working in concert to find folks dumb enough to buy directly from the originating country.

Please, as we have been preaching for years, do not push the envelope and see if you can get some screaming deal by buying illicit goods. Do not buy from this eBay seller, or any other seller who is operating directly from the originating country. Get a signed document with everything you buy that the item is legal under the terms of the UNESCO Treaty. We have a great relationship with the folks at the Custom’s Department, but we also know, they are not nice guys when you are breaking the law. Buy smart!

Happy and Legal collecting!
Bob


Artemis Gallery

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