Bridge to the Divine: Repatriating Nepal’s Heritage

Paige BrevickArticleLeave a Comment

photo by Adja Fong

What may be awe-inspiring art to one person is a bridge to the divine for another. Around the world, our cultural heritage takes on new meaning depending on its context. Pilgrims walk hundreds of miles to pray. Patrons buy tickets to learn from exhibits. Both provide insight into our shared heritage as people, but context is critical. Context Has there … Read More

How can we think about cultural heritage when life is lost?

Cindy HoArticle, Commentary1 Comment


Before and after photos leave nothing to the imagination: Nepal has suffered a tremendous loss to its cultural heritage when a massive earthquake hit the small Himalayan nation on April 25, 2015. Should we be concerned about culture when the death toll is still mounting every minute? We know countless people have suffered the devastation of losing family members and loved ones. When … Read More

Heritage Crisis in Syria: a call for a moratorium on the antiquities trade

Heather LeeArticle, Commentary, From the field, Homepage3 Comments

The world has been closely following the tumultuous political upheaval behind the devastated state of cultural heritage preservation in Syria. A recent New York Times article describes “a feeling of impotence” that academics and archaeologists are experiencing in the face of the sheer magnitude of the danger threatening the cultural heritage of Syria. What will it take to stop the relentless destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage? It … Read More

Samantha Sutton’s Archaeological Adventures

Elizabeth MarkmanArticle, Commentary, Review2 Comments

I want to thank Jordan Jacobs for sending SAFE his “Samantha Sutton Series.” As a part of my summer internship at SAFE, I was given the first novel of the series to review. Kayla Schweitzer, another SAFE intern, reviewed the second. Reading this book made my summer that much more fun! The two of us were excited to learn about the novels … Read More

Bones of contention: The global trade in archaeological and ethnographic human remains

Damien HufferArticle, Commentary, News, ReportLeave a Comment

Bones of Contention.

These days, research on the depth and breadth of the global illicit antiquities trade, and how best to dismantle and prevent it, grows ever-more diverse. One particularly under-studied aspect continues to fascinate me: the trade in archaeological and ethnographic human remains. With licit and clearly illicit faces, deals conducted online (but most likely primarily off-line), this trade forms but one component … Read More

Meet the Interns

Elizabeth MarkmanArticle, Interview1 Comment

Meet the Folks who are helping make SAFE happen this summer!  I (Elizabeth Markman) am a rising junior at Barnard College with a joint major in Archaeology and Art History. I have just returned from an archeological survey in New Mexico, where I spent my time looking for projectile points and potsherds. At SAFE, I am working on new educational initiatives and outreach. I am also tweeting and organizing … Read More

The thorny issue of deaccession

Heather LeeArticle, Commentary3 Comments


On July 10, 2014, at Christie’s in London, a 4,000-year-old Egyptian limestone statue of an official named Sekhemka was sold to a telephone bidder for £15,762,500 (or $27,001,163, with the buyer’s premium). This sale was strongly opposed by several groups, including the UK Museums Association (MA), the Save Sekhemka Action Group, and Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry. Why the controversy? It is … Read More

What can you do? Sharing knowledge about Iraq’s vanishing cultural heritage

Alex NagelArticle, Report8 Comments


A public panel, “The Implications of the Current Fighting for Iraq’s Cultural Heritage” was held on Friday evening, July 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. The panel was organized by the Iraqi Cultural Center (ICC), the Iraqi Ministry of Culture and The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII). The following is a report of the presentations. The goal of this … Read More

Special investigative techniques in contrasting trafficking and related offences against cultural property

Paolo FerriArticleLeave a Comment

smuggling routes

The struggle against the illegal traffic in cultural goods would be more penetrating and successful if the issue was pursued by a “roving public prosecutor” — a role that I managed to perform with some success in the past. This prosecutor, in compliance with the laws of the requested ((Requested country is the State addressed usually by a rogatory letter, … Read More

Cultural goods’ damage and related offences

Paolo FerriArticleLeave a Comment

The crime of damage is generally acknowledged as an important offence from the criminal point of view, and often is seriously punished.  Consequently, this crime can be instrumental in gaining access to many legal systems to ask for “effective” international assistance. When an act of damage is committed against a cultural item, such an act has a degree of gravity … Read More