Greece: Ancient wrecks, pottery found at ships’ ‘graveyard’

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This undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Monday, Oct. 15 , 2018, shows a diver searches on the seabed near the island of Fourni. (AP)
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This undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Monday, Oct. 15 , 2018, divers inspect items on the seabed from an ancient shipwreck discovered off the island of Fourni. (AP)
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This undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Monday, Oct. 15 , 2018, showing items on the seabed from an ancient shipwreck discovered off the island of Fourni. (AP)
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This undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Monday, Oct. 15 , 2018, shows a man holding a 2nd-century A.D. terracotta lamp with the incised name of its maker, the Corinthian artisan Octavius, on the base, one of a group found on the seabed off the island of Fourni. (AP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Greece: Ancient wrecks, pottery found at ships’ ‘graveyard’

  • The five new finds, all trading ships, raise to 58 the total number of ancient, mediaeval and more recent wrecks located since 2015 around the lobster-shaped Fourni complex

ATHENS, Greece: A Greek-US team of marine archaeologists has located three more ancient shipwrecks with pottery cargoes, including 1,900-year-old branded designer lamps, and two from much later times in a rich graveyard of ships in the eastern Aegean Sea, a project official said Tuesday.
All were found last month off Fourni island and its surrounding islets that lie at the junction of two main ancient shipping routes, in notoriously treacherous waters between the larger islands of Ikaria and Samos.
The older wrecks date to the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C. and the 5th-6th centuries A.D., while the more recent ones are from the 18th or 19th century, said archaeologist George Koutsouflakis, joint leader of the project.
He said they were discovered at depths of 10-40 meters (33-130 feet). Because that is relatively shallow, the wrecks bore traces of looting by illegal antiquities hunters or of damage by fishing nets.
The five new finds, all trading ships, raise to 58 the total number of ancient, mediaeval and more recent wrecks located since 2015 around the lobster-shaped Fourni complex. Two of its 13 islets bear the ominous name Anthropofas, or Man-eater, in reference to the seamen who drowned off them.
The project started in 2015, in cooperation with the US-based RPM Nautical Foundation, a non-profit organization involved in several Mediterranean underwater projects. Archaeologists received significant help from local fishermen, who provided information on wreck sites.
Apart from the cargoes of amphorae — jars that contained wine, oil and foodstuffs — found in September, divers also recovered a group of 2nd-century A.D. terracotta lamps, incized with the names of the Corinthian artisans who made them, Octavius and Lucius.
They may have been slave workers who later gained their freedom and set up their own pottery workshops, a Greek Culture Ministry statement said.
The project is planned to continue over the next five years, the ministry said.


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 4 min 22 sec ago
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Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”