Lawrence Rothfield and “The Rape of Mesopotamia”

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In April 2003, like many of us, Lawrence Rothfield watched with great concern as news accounts detailed the pillage of Iraq’s National Museum. Since then, the looting of sites around Iraq has not ceased, and Rothfield, as co-founder and former director of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, has been working on an extensive inquiry into how … Read More

The Scars of War

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While time does not heal all wounds, it offers the possibility for reflection and recovery. On May 28, the New York City Bar Association called on archaeologists, lawyers, and all interested parties to gather in the halls of the House of the Association in mid-town Manhattan to discuss, “The Art of War: The Protection of Cultural Property in War and … Read More

Preserving architectural heritage: A review of “Time Honored. A Global View of Architectural Conservation”

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What equates such different and distant places as the New York State Pavilion in Queens (New York City), the Bamyan site in Afghanistan, the Fenestrelle Fortress in the Italian Alps? The elliptical canopy of the New York State Pavilion with its oversized, mosaic-made map of the state of New York is one of the few remaining structures from the historical … Read More

“Cultural vandalism”: The destruction of ancient Kashgar

SAFECORNERAlert7 Comments

The Chinese government has begun its plan to raze the old oasis city of Kashgar to the ground. According to news reports, two-thirds of this old city has already been bulldozed. Over the next few years, 85% of Kashgar will be demolished. Kashgar, “virtually untouched by modern society,” is an important oasis city strategically located on the ancient Silk Road … Read More

Skull Wars: A review

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The following review of Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity by David Hurst Thomas is written by Andrew Vasicek, SAFE Volunteer. Based on the title and purported subject matter of the book, a little more detail about the Kennewick Man himself and the surrounding controversy, both legal and cultural, was expected. As it was, … Read More

Export 101 for Antiquities

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Over on the Yahoo AncientArtifacts forum there is a telling request for information. A small-time dealer in antiquities from North Carolina asks the list: Back to basics if someone can help me. In regard to antiquities, which countries: Allow the free and unregulated trade in and export of antiquities? Restrict any trade in or export of antiquities? Don’t seem to … Read More

US Returns Ancient Ur to Iraq

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On May 13, the US military hands over control of ancient Ur to Iraqi authorities. Archaeologist Abdulamir Hamdani sent these photos from the ceremony to SAFE, and indicated that “With your moral and emotional support for us, we look forward to start of implementation of cultural heritage’s projects in the city of Ur, such as: surveys, documentation, maintenance, conservation and … Read More

Remarkable objects, multiple histories: The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the protection of American Indian cultural patrimony

Franca di ValerioArticle, Commentary, ReportLeave a Comment

The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the law that regulates protection and restitution of American Indian cultural patrimony in the U.S.A., is about to turn its twentieth year since its enactment in 1990. Beyond its legal requirements, NAGPRA has deeply influenced, and in many cases irreversibly changed, assumptions about cultural property, cultural identity, ownership, artifact, interpretation, and … Read More