These video lectures and podcast interviews featuring noted authors and experts in the field of cultural heritage preservation are produced by members and friends of SAFE to inform and inspire.

  • Rick St.Hilaire


    SAFE volunteer Heather Lee speaks to cultural heritage lawyer Rick St. Hilaire

    about United Nations Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 2199 condemning trade with terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, and its implications on cultural heritage preservation efforts here in the United States as well as in other UN member states. He stresses the point that the resolution is laudable for putting the cultural heritage issue on the main stage, which will help field agents’ agenda formation and raising public awareness. In addition, he discusses the recently-released video of destructions at the city museum at Mosul. Recording and interview by Heather Lee (March 03, 2015)

  • Ralph Frammolino


    In this 50 minute conversation, Senta German spoke to journalist Ralph Frammolino about his Beacon Award winning Chasing Aphrodite, co-authored with Jason Felch. Frammolino talked about the underhanded art dealings at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the complex scandal that unfolded. He discussed how the compulsion to own beautiful antiquities in Malibu, California, motivated tombaroli in Italy to loot ancient sites. He shed light on the “smoking gun memo” and the moment that led prosecutors to indict the museum’s former antiquities curator Marion True. Frammolino’s description of the looters, middlemen, archaeologists, museum curators, prosecutors, journalists, who were all “Chasing Aphrodite,” is dazzling. The possibility that the statue may not depict Aphrodite after all (scholars now believe the figure is Persephone, Hera or Demeter) adds a touch of irony to the extraordinary saga. He described the return of the statue to the Aidone Museum in Sicily in April 2011 (“She seems to be at home…”) and looked forward to a future in which long-term loans may lessen the need for American and European museums to acquire ancient objects. As Frammolino said: “Just like it takes a village to raise a child, often it takes a scandal to stop a bad practice.” Read Professor German’s review of the book for here. (June 02, 2011)
  • Donny George


    The former Chairman of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) in Iraq spoke to SAFE founder Cindy Ho. In this 38-minute interview, Dr. George discussed the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave Baghdad for the United States, where he served as visiting professor at New York’s Stony Brook University. The interview focuses on the continued looting of ancient sites in Iraq, the situation at the Iraq Museum, the recent recovery of the statue of Entemena, the disputed status of more than 1,000 Sumerian cuneiforms now at Cornell University. It includes Dr. George’s recommendations for safeguarding Iraq’s ancient sites and his near-term plans. Dr. George, a 2008 SAFE Beacon Award Winner, passed away on March 11, 2011 on the way to a lecture about these issues. (December 12, 2006)
  • Richard Leventhal


    Professor Leventhal discussed the goals of University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center with SAFE intern Cherkea Howery. Over lunch in the office of Professor Leventhal at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cherkea chatted with the charismatic giant in the field. A particularly passionate topic for the Professor concerned the role of museums and their future within the university. This issue has been raised frequently after the Brandeis University announced the closing of the Rose Art Museum. The topic is at the heart of discussing the value of University museums to create information and provide cutting-edge research to the general population. With a new book due to be published in a little over a year, this interview presents insight into Professor Leventhal’s mission in fostering awareness about critical issues. As the PCHC gains momentum, we will see more outreach and education brought to a broad audience with active programs and lively discussions. SAFE would like to thank Professor Leventhal for offering his time and for organizing and leading this vital Center. (March 27, 2009
  • Colin Renfrew


    On January 15, 2009 British archaeologist Colin Renfrew, retired Disney Professor of Archaeology at University of Cambridge, delivered the lecture “Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: A Time for Clarity” at New York’s City University Graduate Center. In this rare presentation, following the SAFE 2009 Beacon Award Lecture in Philadelphia, Professor Renfrew named museums and individuals responsible for enabling the illicit trafficking of antiquities. Originally broadcast on CUNY Radio, this lecture is now available as a SAFE podcast. We thank Professor Renfrew, City University of New York and CUNY Radio for making this possible. (January 15, 2009)
  • Roger Atwood


    An interview with Roger Atwood about the Beacon Award Winner Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers and the Looting of the Ancient World. In this 48-minute interview with Cindy Ho Roger Atwood spoke about the writing of Stealing History. He discussed the global problem of antiquities looting and destruction of ancient sites, the role of museums in stemming the illicit antiquities trade. Mr. Atwood provided inside glimpse into the research and writing of his award-winning book and also offered advice for journalists and writers interested in this increasingly popular field of study. (November 14, 2006)
  • Peter Watson



    In this one-hour video lecture, Peter Watson, co-author of The Medici Conspiracy describes how investigations of the illicit antiquities trade led to the trial of antiquities dealers Giacomo Medici and Robert Hecht, and former Getty Museum curator Marion True. In a wide-ranging discussion, Mr. Watson traces the story from the late 1980s to the present (including details never before heard outside the courtroom in Rome) and concludes with a spirited round of questions from the audience. Those who did not attend this live SAFE event can now view the lecture in its entirety. (November 16, 2006)
  • Nadia Tarzi



    On August 14, 2009, Nadia Tarzi, founder of the Association for the Protection of Afghan Archaeology (APAA) and leader of the SAFE tour of the “Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art graciously agreed to sit down with SAFE volunteer Brooke Todsen to discuss the tour, her work with the APAA, and Afghan cultural preservation. A passionate advocate and speaker herself, she is also the daughter of renowned archaeologist Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi who is Director for the Bamiyan Archaeological Mission and president of the APAA. Her unique heritage coupled with a fierce love of the culture for which she fights make Nadia a powerful force within the world of cultural preservation. In this fascinating 29-minute interview she provides insights into topics such as the Bamiyan Buddhas and the Fish Porch at Hadda. She also shares her vision for the future of cultural preservation, including ways to move forward in a positive and pro-active way. Thank you so much Nadia for your time and for your dedication to the preservation of cultural heritage.