Asia Week Raids Cast a Spotlight on Antiquities Trafficking in India

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India_Relief

Art auctions can be a source of nail-biting excitement with high prices breaking the record books. Yet, during the 2016 Asia Week in New York City, the headlines were dominated not by shockingly high sales, but by federal seizures of illegally trafficked Asian antiquities worth a combined estimate of $4 million. The seized artifacts were recovered as part of the … Read More

Cultural Property Laws: Why They Fail and How They Can Be Improved

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Workers unload 2nd c .AD Roman sarcophagus

The destruction and looting of cultural heritage sites and antiquities is a pervasive problem in Iraq and, more recently, Syria, as both areas are plagued by wider political conflicts. Despite international cultural property legislation established to prohibit the destruction or theft of cultural heritage (including the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed … Read More

The Power of One, and Community in Protecting Cultural Heritage

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Three figurines from Anatolia, Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany

The looting of archaeological artifacts is an issue that affects us all, across the globe, with ramifications which go beyond an academic, institutional need for understanding our cultural heritage. They touch upon issues of local identity, community, and historical reconstruction, both for understanding the past, but also for considering our future. Likewise, the protection of cultural heritage, not only in … Read More

Market Impact: Increasing Consumer Demand for Legal Provenance

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ceramic antiquities

The illegal antiquities market is extremely difficult to quantify. The nature of the smuggling networks and a code of silence between buyers and sellers make it next to impossible to confirm solid numbers for analysis. One of the few places for which hard data is available is the antiquities auction market. In 2015, researchers from the University of Chicago analyzed … 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

Protecting Monasteries, Places of Protection

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St. Elijah

Since the early history of the Church, Christian monastic communities and monasteries have been centers of rest, learning, and refuge from the world. Throughout their long histories, monasteries have housed travelers, nursed the sick, and assisted the marginalized and downtrodden. Many monasteries valued literacy and the written word, often safeguarding rare texts which passed on valuable knowledge and discourses. These … Read More

3D Scanning Could Save Endangered Archaeological Sites

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Karnak Relief

Scanning archaeological sites may be the key to saving antiquity and cultural heritage. These 3D images could save endangered sites for the future. In addition, scanning could help archaeologists find undiscovered heritage sites. Learn more here. photo: Ancient Egyptian relief from the Temple of Karnak / jarekgrafik

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

Cindy HoArticle, Commentary1 Comment

nepal-before-after

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

Unite for Global Heritage: How can we help?

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Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage

When horrific images of destruction and chaos flash before us day after day, it can be difficult to think that there is anything that we can do to help curb this tide of devastation. We may be appalled by the hateful destruction of cultural heritage and empathize with the people whose legacy is horrifically disrespected, but what can we do … Read More