Welcome to the SAFE Team!

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You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet around the SAFE Blog recently…but that’s only because some new and exciting changes have been brewing, and we’re excited to finally share them with you! Saving Antiquities for Everyone, Inc. is proud to announce the appointment of three new leaders at the organization. Starting June 2016, SAFE’s STAFF will be … Read More

Four Years Later and Still Going Strong

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Euphronios Krater

Just four years after its founding in 2012, Trafficking Culture is well-known as one of the foremost research initiatives for the study of the illicit trade of antiquities. Established with the support of a four-year grant from the European Research Council (ERC), Neil Brodie (SAFE’s 2008 Beacon Award Winner), Simon Mackenzie, Donna Yates, and Christos Tsirogiannis worked together from their … Read More

Nearly 600 Artifacts from Cargo Ship Examined by Experts

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Odyssey Explorer

On December 23, 57 crates of artifacts were confiscated by the police from the cargo ship, Odyssey Explorer, off the east coast of Cyprus. Authorities have recorded 588 antiquities with provenances of Cyprus, Lebanon, and beyond. Police are now working with the ministry of foreign affairs, legal services and customs officials to implement proper legal procedures. A total of 588 … Read More

Preserving Babylon with Digital Reconstructions

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Country: Iraq
Site: Babylon
Caption: Southern palace from inner city wall
Image Date: November 22, 2010
Photographer: Jeff Allen/World Monuments Fund
Provenance: Site Visit
Original: email from Ken Feisel

Conservation in a digital age is changing the face of cultural heritage preservation. The World Monuments Fund has used laser scanning to create digital 3D models of ancient Babylon. The digitizing project began in 2010, as a preventative measure in case new threats to the site arose in the future; now that other archaeological sites such as Hatra, Nimrod, and … Read More

ICOM Publishes ‘Red List’ of Endangered Libyan Antiquities

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ICOM (the International Council of Museums) has released a “red list” of endangered Libyan antiquities. Rather than a list of objects which have already been looted, the Emergency Red List of Libyan Cultural Objects at Risk is a proactive resource, compiling images and descriptions of artifacts known to be vulnerable in order to alert customs officials, police forces and the … Read More

Stolen Relief of Seti I Returns to Egypt

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Seti I Relief

This week, a New Kingdom limestone relief from the reign of Seti I was returned to Egypt after it had been smuggled out of the country following illegal excavations. It was recovered from an auction hall in London, England, and, after two months of negotiations, was returned to Egypt on Monday. The return of the relief is a successful example … Read More

Former Antiquities Dealer Charged with Smuggling

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Ban Chiang pottery

Yesterday, a former antiquities dealer, Jonathan Markell, was sentenced to eighteen months in prison followed by a year of supervised release. Markell was charged with providing false declarations in customs documents in order to bring stolen archaeological material into the United States. This was not the first time that Markell and his wife, Cari, had been involved in trafficking activities; … Read More

Announcing the 2015 SAFE Beacon Award

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Dr. Khaled al-Asaad

On Friday, January 8th at the Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, SAFE will present its 2015 SAFE Beacon Award. Since 2004, the SAFE Beacon Awards have recognized outstanding achievement in raising public awareness about our endangered cultural heritage, the importance of heritage protection and conservation, and the devastating consequences of the illicit antiquities trade. This year, … Read More

Antiquities Dealer Facing Charges of Looted and Forged Artifacts

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Olmec, El Manati, Wooden Busts

Over the past 40 years, antiquities dealer, Leonardo A. Patterson, has amassed a large private collection of pre-Columbian art. Known as the Patterson Collection, it includes 1,029 Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec artifacts. Despite years of claiming that all of his pieces are genuine and legally acquired, Patterson is now facing simultaneous charges of possessing looted artifacts and selling fakes. The … Read More

Congratulations, Cindy Ho!

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Cindy Ho

On Thursday, January 7, 2016, the Archaeological Institute of America will be recognizing the hard work and tireless dedication of SAFE’s founder, Cindy Ho, with its 2016 Outstanding Public Service Award. All of us here at SAFE are immensely proud of Cindy and offer our congratulations on this well-deserved award! We are incredibly thankful for Cindy’s many years of unwavering … Read More