Abdulamir Hamdani on the implications of the current fighting for Iraq’s cultural heritage

SAFECORNERFrom the field, Report, Update1 Comment

The following is Dr. Abdulamir al-Hamdani’s presentation on the destruction of Iraq’s heritage made on July 18, 2014 at the Iraqi Cultural Center. The event was also live-tweeted by Dr. Damien Huffer (#ICHpanel) and reported here by Dr. Alex Nagel. SAFE is grateful for this collaboration, allowing us to raise awareness about these critical issues.

The vote is in: We want international cooperation for cultural heritage protection

Heather LeeReport, Review, Update, What do you think?1 Comment

  On May 29, SAFE opened up an informal poll to gauge public opinion on the issue of international cooperation on cultural heritage protection. This was inspired by Egypt’s request for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to restrict imports of Egyptian archaeological and ethnological material into the United States. The goal was to raise public awareness, a core mission of SAFE. … Read More

Update: Mali’s cultural heritage in danger

Bastien VaroutsikosReport, Update3 Comments

Mali and Azawad map

Mali is one of the few countries in Western Africa where evidence of human occupation from the Middle (and possibly Lower) Palaeolithic to the modern day can be found (Mayor et al. 2005). The intense exploration of the Sahara has built a clearer picture of the expansion of modern humans, from around 100,000 to 50,000 BP, moving westward through the … Read More

UNESCO mourns loss of cultural heritage in Bamiyan valley

Mary Elizabeth WilliamsArticle, Commentary, Update3 Comments

Bamiyan Buddhas

The Bamiyan Buddhas will not be rebuilt.  Instead, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has decided instead to transform the site into a sanctuary where the international community can meditate on the losses of cultural heritage and contemplate how to change the pattern of destruction that leaves the world without a past.  They have chosen Andrea Bruno, … Read More

Say NO to “American Diggers”

Brooke TodsenAlert, Update1 Comment

Explosions abound and dirt flies in the opening credits of Spike TV’s “American Digger”, but explosions and dirt thrown from backhoes are typically not what you see in a properly executed scientific excavation. Amid numerous protests, this show continues to present “digging” as an exciting pass time that anyone can participate in. The dangers to our cultural heritage mount as … Read More

UPDATE: $500 million worth of shipwreck loot remains property of Spain, court rules…again

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Coins found by the Odyssey Marine exploration from the "Black Swan"

Odyssey Marine Exploration’s appeal of the court’s ruling that the 17 tons of silver and gold the salvage company dug up from the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes (known as “Black Swan”) was rejected by the court, reaffirming a ruling earlier this year that the Black Swan treasure is Spain’s “natural, legal patrimony.” Details of the case, … Read More

Federal Court Judge rules that 10th c. Khmer statue remains at Sotheby’s … for now

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Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan

In a 30-minute conference held on the 21st floor of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan today, Judge George B. Daniels ruled against the government’s request for “a warrant to arrest” the 10th century Khmer sandstone sculpture, known as a Dvarapala, which is the subject of the in rem civil forfeiture action known as United States of … Read More

Say YES to Turkey?

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Recently, the government of Turkey requested the return of dozens of allegedly looted antiquities from American museums. The items being sought currently reside in museums all over the country, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Bowling Green State University, the Dumbarton Oaks Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Cleveland Museum of Art. You can view … Read More

Egypt’s ownership claim of Ka-Nefer-Nefer slammed, or may be not…

SAFECORNERUpdate, What do you think?3 Comments


The St. Louis Museum of Art (SLAM) filed a complaint in federal district court on February 15, 2011 asking for a declaratory judgment to prevent federal authorities from seizing a 19th Dynasty Egyptian mask popularly known as Ka-Nefer-Nefer. The mask, excavated at Saqqara in 1952 by Mohammed Zakaria Goneim, was sold to SLAM in 1998 by Phoenix Ancient Art in Geneva. … Read More

Memo to Spike: thanks for taking our advice

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Person Digging-Three things to do before you dig

Thanks to People against Spike TV’s “American Digger,” we have just been alerted that Spike TV’s web site finally released the equivalent of a disclaimer “3 Things To Do Before You Dig For Relics.” On March 6, SAFECORNER wrote in “Memo to Spike: please ask Scott or Dierdre Gurney to return our phone call“: Let’s hope Spike will insist that … Read More