(Chairs: Hubert SZEMETHY, Austria / Saadet GÜNER, Turkey / Marius CIUTA, Romania)

Some years ago the internet began to play an important role in the art market. With the years internet trading and online-auctions of cultural property steadily increased and became an established market-place. Online platforms like ebay, well known auction houses like Sotheby’s, Bonhams or Christie’s as well as renowned or small art dealers or private persons offer cultural objects from all periods and all regions of the world.
Though e-commerce is very different from conventional physical face to face art market, many questions for the purchaser and the seller are the same. Where does the object come from? When has it been found? What do we know about the provenience of the object? Does the seller own ‘clean title’ with due diligence? Was the object exported legally? etc.
This year’s session at the Viennese Symposium will try to give an overall documentation of the market place on the web – especially in the sector of antiquities – and will discuss ethical and legal problems. Different studies of material and intellectual consequences of trading in undocumented cultural objects often face the problem of transparency and the lack of due diligence (not only) in the virtual trade. There is also a call for archiving and publishing all available information and images of sold items for scientific purposes.
The meeting should encourage the international cooperation between scientists, museums, auction houses, private collectors, the art-market, government officials, customs, and law enforcement.