Illegally Looted Roman and Etruscan Antiquities Found in Geneva

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Pompeii House

Italy’s Carabinieri art crime investigation unit recently discovered forty-five crates containing Etruscan and Roman antiquities in Geneva, Switzerland. Experts speculate that these pieces were left in Switzerland for fifteen years by Robin Symes, a dealer who has served time for contempt of court. When artifacts are improperly removed from their source, cultural and historical context is lost. Pompeii, an archaeological site famous … 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

New Digital Projects Aimed at Preserving Cultural Heritage

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Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction

In response to the devastating cultural heritage destruction by ISIS, several projects have emerged in the hopes of recording and protecting, albeit digitally, destroyed cultural and historic sites. Project Mosul was created one week after the video depicting the destruction of artifacts in the Mosul Museum. It is the brainchild of Chance Coughenour and Matthew Vincent, Ph.D. student researchers in Europe’s  Initial Training Network for … Read More

Deploying Technology to Rescue the Past

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Palmyra's theater by Jerzy Strzelecki (Wikipedia)

How are digital tools used to record artifacts and monuments for posterity, in light of cultural destruction by ISIS? Future Tense, a partnership of Arizona State University, New America and Slate, that explores emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy, will hold a panel discussion tonight, January 28th, from 6:00 – 7:30PM on these pressing issues. You can join the discussion via Twitter … Read More

Iran Urges UNESCO Push to Protect Cultural Heritage in Syria, Iraq

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Temple of Bel, Palmyra

In a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in Paris on Thursday, President Rouhani reminded international organizations, UNESCO in particular, of their heavy responsibility to safeguard the cultural heritage in war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. The president further called on UNESCO to take a more active role in using “cultural capacities” to combat violence and terrorism, specifically to prevent destruction … Read More

Syrian Refugees Build Miniatures of Endangered and Destroyed Landmarks

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Palmyra

Syrian Refugees at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan have been building miniatures of Syria’s ruined and endangered monuments. The project began when Ahmad Hariri brought a group of artists together in order to teach children within the camp about their heritage. The miniatures are made of recycled materials from the area. One project by Mahmoud Hariri, who was an … Read More

Employees Face Fines for King Tut’s Restoration

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King Tuthankhamun

Eight employees from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt face heavy fines for reckless destruction of King Tutankamun. It was found that they violated many of the scientific and professional standards for restoration, specifically improperly gluing of the mask’s beard. King Tut is one the most oldest artifacts dating to 3,300 years. Click here to read the full story. Photo: King Tuthankamen’s burial … Read More

The Antiquities Coalition Releases Interactive Map of Culture Under Threat

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Antiquities Coalition. 2016. “Culture Under Threat Map,” The Antiquities Coalition

The global heritage destruction caused by Daesh and other terrorist groups is sadly in the news all to often. Yet when their activities are viewed as individual incidents it can be difficult to grasp the scale and scope of cultural devastation that is being inflicted across the region. In effort to visually show the broad scale of cultural heritage destruction … Read More

Saudi Arabia Creates Awards For Archaeologists

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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), has brought to fruition a number of awards for archaeologists. The awards fall into several categories, including, Saudi Pioneers in Archaeology, Foreign Pioneers of Archaeology, Young Archaeology Researchers, and Foreign Archaeology Researchers. The Prince Sultan has stated that the awards are designed to distinguish those … Read More

Recording Tibetan Cultural Heritage

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Tibetan Gelug monk and Sand mandala

Researchers in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region are racing against the clock to digitize intangible cultural heritage as the region’s Tibetan folk masters reach old age. Since 2005, the autonomous region has collected more than 100,000 stories, 1,500 videos and 40,000 photos of intangible cultural heritage for a digital database. Among them, a Tibetan opera and “The Epic of King Gesar” have been … Read More