SAFE congratulates newly appointed CPAC Chair Patty Gerstenblith

SAFECORNERAnnouncement1 Comment

The White House just announced President Obama’s intent to nominate key Administration posts, including Prof. Patty Gerstenblith as Chair of Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Gerstenblith’s biography reads: Patty Gerstenblith has been Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law and founding president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation. She also serves as senior advisor to the International … Read More

Colin Renfrew on unprovenanced antiquities: challenges, scandals and responsibilities

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In less than 18 minutes, Professor Colin Renfrew covers a lot of ground and an array of issues in the 2008 video “The issue of unprovenanced antiquities” here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). It’s a summary of the issues SAFE addresses, well worth viewing. Beginning with how he came around to take a “purist position” against publishing unprovenanced material, … Read More

Looted memorial statues returned to Kenyan family

Monica Udvardy and Linda GilesArticle, Commentary, ReportLeave a Comment

Ancestral memorial statues (vigango) erected by the Mijikenda peoples of Kenya are frequently stolen and sold to international art dealers. During the summer of 2007, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) returned two vigango, which had been in the collections of two American museums, to a Mijikenda family in a rural Kenyan village. We give the history of these two … Read More

Treasure-Hunting in Afghanistan

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This 2009 photo essay by Adam Ferguson entitled “Treasure-Hunting in Afghanistan” offers a graphic depiction of the world of looting and the illicit antiquities trade, all too familiar not only in Afghanistan, but the world over. The essay accompanies “Afghanistan: A Treasure Trove for Archaeologists” by Aryn Baker. Some quotes from the essay: “The ancient heritage has fallen victim to … Read More

The Brazen Destruction of an Ongoing Dig

Damien HufferAlert, Commentary3 Comments

I’m sure this is all over the blogosphere by now, but I wanted to continue to pass it on. Here we have yet more evidence that looting, thievery, and general archaeological vandalism is not contained to the “third world,” and need not even target sites, features or locations known to produce “valuable” antiquities for the market. Here these students were, … Read More

Research Publications on the Antiquities Trade

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The basis of my research on the antiquities trade has been based on a series of publications (many with my colleague Christopher Chippindale).  I published the list on Looting Matters and reproduce it here for convenience. (with K. Butcher) ‘Mischievous pastime or historical science?’, review article of Minerva, in Antiquity 64 (1990), 946-50. [ISSN 0003-598X] [online] (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘Material … Read More

David Gill receives AIA’s 2012 Outstanding Public Service Award

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Heartfelt congratulations go to David Gill, for this well-deserved recognition from the Archaeological Institute of America. SAFE and SAFECORNER would like to take the opportunity to thank Prof. Gill for years of research and study on looting and the illicit antiquities trade and, above all, his efforts to keep the public informed of these problems with his blog “Looting Matters”, … Read More

“She is the property of Italy…and they have every right in the world to put her in that museum. It feels right to have her there.”


Senta German interviews Ralph Frammolino, co-author with Jason Felch of the recently published Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum in the latest installment of SAFE podcasts. Professor German had recently reviewed the book on SAFECORNER. The topic has also been discussed here. In this clip, Frammolino recalls the ceremony unveiling the statue’s recent return to … Read More