Insider’s guide through the Ancient Near Eastern Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and stories about how the objects got there.

Dr. Oscar White Muscarella, received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences in 1965. A specialist in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East, he had been on staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1964, until his recent retirement.

Among his many scholarly publications are: Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection, Bronze & Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Catalogue of Ivories from Hasanlu Iran. An outspoken critic of the antiquities trade and the plunder of artifacts, he is also the author of The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Near Eastern Cultures and recently, The Veracity of  “Scientific”  Testing by Conservators. A prolific author, he has extensive excavation experience in Turkey and Iran. Read Antiquities Whistleblower Oscar White Muscarella, interview with Susan Mazur.

In a book chapter titled “The Fifth Column Within the Archaeological Realm: The Great Divide,” Muscarella deplored what he described as complacency among archaeologists so severe it verges on collaboration with looters. Also well worth a read is Muscarella’s recent review of Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum, the book by Michael Gross in Scoop.

But as hundreds of attendees to his now-famous SAFE Tours will agree, there’s no better way to get the ultimate inside story than from Muscarella in person.

I found the tour extremely interesting and informative. Oscar Muscarella really spoke to the heart of the issue of plundered materials and the role the museum plays in this complex web. I look forward to future tours and learning more about this issue. Thanks for a great experience!M. F., Saugerties, NY