“We had no idea it was a library”

Larry RothfieldCommentaryLeave a Comment

The CNN story on the burning of the library in Egypt contains a telling vignette: At least one demonstrator was unaware that the structure was a library containing historical documents. “We had no idea it was a library. We love our country. Why were the military thugs on the rooftop of the building in the first place, throwing debris and … Read More

After Iraq National Archives, after Baghdad Museum, after Cairo Museum, Why Was Egypt’s Library Not Secured?

Larry RothfieldCommentaryLeave a Comment

The burning of the Egyptian Scientific Institute in the midst of the chaos in Cairo is a cultural disaster on a par with the worst acts of destruction of heritage in recent years, arguably worse than the losses to the Iraq Museum (since stolen artifacts can still be recovered, whereas the burned original manuscripts are gone forever). Whether the fire … Read More

EBay: Lip service is not enough!

SAFECORNERCommentary2 Comments

As the holiday shopping season goes into full force, eBay – the leading online auction and shopping site – once again offers a dizzying array of objects listed under “antiquities.” Described as “early Neolithic,” “Bronze age”, “Tang Dynasty,” to “Khmer,” “Pre-Columbian,” “12th Century Djenne,” “Ancient Roman,” etc. these “antiquities” are advertised to originate from all corners of the world. They … Read More

Sad news out of Iran…

Damien HufferAlert, ReportLeave a Comment

This link takes you to a Tehran Times article (brought to my attention by Museum Security Network) discussing the on-the-ground looting situation at the ancient city of Dastvar, Khuzestan Province, Iran. After five excavation seasons spanning the 1960s-1990s, it appears that what’s left of the city and its cemeteries are being looted away at a frightening pace. Part of the … Read More

Should genuine ancient archaeological materials such as coins and pottery shards be repurposed and sold as jewelry?

SAFECORNERWhat do you think?3 Comments

“Should genuine ancient archaeological materials such as coins and pottery shards be repurposed and sold as jewelry?” reads the poll currently displayed in the right hand margin. Until yesterday there were 20 votes for no, 2 for yes. Then on the US ancient coin collector’s forum “Moneta-L” this post appeared yesterday: Safecorner — the anti-collecting organization has a new poll … Read More

What about “cultural treasures” still in the ground?

SAFECORNERAnnouncement, Commentary1 Comment

The European Commission just announced “a public consultation on a way to prevent the illegal trafficking of cultural goods removed from member-states” as well as their safe-keeping and restitution. The focal point for these efforts is Europeana – the digital library of millions of “culturally significant objects,” with the goal to “get all heritage digital.” “Without digitisation, our cultural heritage … Read More