The Syrian Open Market, the Western Appetite for Antiquities, and the Consumption of Fakes

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Everybody in the West is counterfeit fighting!! It’s because those Syrian smugglers were fast as lightning! In fact, to see experts colluding with them was a little bit frightening! They sold fake antiquities with expert timing! Apologies for the corny take on Carl Douglas’s classic Kung-Fu exploitation song “Kung Fu Fighting (1974).” However, I felt like it was appropriate because experts and law enforcement are in … Read More

The STOP Act: Proposed Legislation to Stop the Export of Native American Cultural Patrimony

Lillia McEnaneyNewsLeave a Comment

STOP Act Press Conference in Washington D.C., July 6, 2016.

In early July, US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act. Broadly, the STOP Act aims to strengthen previous Native cultural heritage legislation. Most importantly, the Act prohibits the export of any archaeological or ethnographic object that falls under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), … Read More

Executive Interview: Sandra L. Cobden

Marina LahowinInterview, What do you think?1 Comment

Senior Vice-President and General Counsel Dispute Resolutions and Legal Public Affairs at Christie’s Sandra Cobden has been a New York-based litigator for more than twenty years. For the last seven years, she has worked at Christie’s managing their disputes, legislative interests, and governments affairs. She is also an adjunct law professor at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, where she teaches art … Read More

New U.S. Import Restrictions on Syrian Archaeological and Ethnographic Material

Lillia McEnaneyNews, UpdateLeave a Comment

Funeral temple No 86, Palmyra and in the background on the hill the Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle.

Earlier this month, the United States put import restrictions into effect for Syrian cultural materials. The restrictions apply to any item, archaeological or ethnographic, that was illegally removed from the country on or after March 15, 2011. The law includes a huge range of materials, such as stone, metal, ceramic, painting, drawing, textile, plaster and stucco, mosaic, and paper, among … Read More

Meet the 2016 SAFE Interns

Paige BrevickAnnouncement, ArticleLeave a Comment

Ruins of Ancient Rome

It has been a busy year so far at SAFE! We have a new Executive Team, new campaigns have emerged for heritage preservation, and our interns have been hard at work all year. As an entirely volunteer led organization, SAFE depends on the passion and expertise of our interns.  SAFE interns work on outreach projects, speak at campus events, and … Read More

Exhibition Review: Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan, Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C.

Lillia McEnaneyCommentary, ReportLeave a Comment

Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan

A visitor to Washington D.C. might easily miss the Freer|Sackler Gallery. It is smaller, specialized, and less publicized than many of the other Smithsonian galleries on the National Mall. To reach the venue for “Turquoise Mountain,” housed in the Smithsonian’s International Gallery, a visitor enters through a nondescript floating doorway adjacent to the main entrance of theFreer|Sackler Gallery.. The visitor descends down … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: What is the background for destruction of cultural heritage? (2/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment

The Bamiyan Buddhas today. Photo credit: DVIDSHUB via Foter.com / CC BY

Political instability The conflict in Mali is complicated in its origin and may be connected to political unrest in the state prior to the military coup on the 21st of March 2012. Significantly such unrest may be traced back to the insurgency movements in the 1990’s. The North of Mali is home to the nomadic ethnic group – Tuareg, who … Read More

The Ancient Art of Collecting

Marina LahowinArticle, What do you think?Leave a Comment

In 1925, archaeologists Leonardo Woolley was excavating in an ancient Sumerian city called Ur, located in present day Iraq. There he uncovered one of the oldest collections of antiquities in the Ennigaldi-Nanna’s Museum, believed to be from 530 BC. The museum contained a diverse collection of ancient objects from Mesopotamia dating back as far as 2058 BC. Still more incredible, … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: The manuscripts and shrines of Timbuktu (3/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment

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Historical Background The city of Timbuktu has carried significance since the 12th century and especially carried significance during the domination of the Songhay Empire from the 15th to the 16th Century. The city took great advantage of its strategic position and became a centre for both trade, scientific developments and as the heart of spiritual and Islamic thought in Africa. … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: The significance of the cases (4/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment

Sankore mosque

The manuscripts of Mali are significant as they represent a history of written tradition in Africa. This aspect of African history has often been overlooked and its absence has been applied within a post-colonial context as argumentation for the inferiority of African civilizations and culture. Another element often emphasized as argumentation for the devaluation of African heritage – is the absence … Read More