Do you think all nations should help protect one another’s cultural heritage?

SAFECORNERWhat do you think?5 Comments

What do you think? Your opinion matters.

On June 2, 2014, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will begin its review of Egypt’s request that the US impose import restrictions on Egyptian antiquities in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), made under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO Convention). Written public comments submitted earlier are posted here. … Read More

Protecting Egypt’s cultural heritage – repatriation efforts alone will not suffice

SAFECORNERCommentary1 Comment

Pharaonic artefacts are seen on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Given the well documented role of auction sales in the legitimization of unprovenanced artifacts, which translates as “no questions asked,” or possibly looted or looted, should anyone be surprised that a major source country such as Egypt would follow the examples set by Italy, Cambodia, Iran, and non-state actors such as Native American tribes in the United States, to stop … Read More

China’s “other” looting problem

SAFECORNER10 years after, Commentary, SAFECORNERLeave a Comment

Chinese bronze heads of a rat and rabbit returned by Pinault

One might rejoice at today’s news about the Christie’s owner François Pinault’s offer to return two bronze animal heads to China, a “cause célèbre for Chinese nationalists” has garnered start-studded attention from Ai Weiwei to Jackie Chan, Yves Saint Laurent, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Dalia Lama and now the head of the PPR, maker of luxury fashion goods, husband of movie … Read More

Why should import restrictions on antiquities from Cambodia be renewed?

SAFECORNERAnnouncement, Commentary, Report1 Comment

Weeks before the gavel fell on New York’s Asia Week auctions, Nord Wennerstrom began raising questions about the “iffy provenance” of Khmer artifacts, echoed by Chasing Aphrodite’s post on its Facebook page “For sale at Asia Week auctions: tons of unprovenanced Khmer antiquities“. Although the lack of published provenance (or ownership history) is not proof of dubious origin, it begs … Read More

MOU between the US and Belize Closes Loophole

SAFECORNERAnnouncementLeave a Comment

In joining forces with the US to prevent looting, Belize stands in solidarity with its neighboring countries in the Maya region. The Honorable Jose Manuel Heredia, Belize Minister of Tourism and Culture, signed into effect a bilateral agreement between the governments of the United States and Belize under the 1970 UNESCO convention. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) places import restrictions … 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

Experts lend opinions to the discussion of unprovenanced antiquities

Brooke TodsenCommentary, Report, What do you think?Leave a Comment

The New York Times reported on Tuesday, July 10 about the growing tension over new guidelines “making it more difficult for collectors of antiquities to donate, or sell, the cultural treasures that fill their homes, display cases and storage units.” As museums and auction houses react to recent measures taken by the U.S. to stem the illicit antiquities trade, they are increasingly reluctant … Read More

Captain Gunter’s “loot”: Antiquities from China’s Summer Palace continue to sell at auction

Mary Elizabeth WilliamsCommentaryLeave a Comment

Qing dynasty gold box sold at Woolley and Wallis auction house

The sale of a 8.5 by 5.8 centimeter Qing dynasty (late 18th- early 19th century) gold box for £490,000 ($764,694.00) at London auction house Woolley and Wallis has provoked an international debate. The gold box, embellished with seed pearls, enamel glass panels, and floral motifs, inscribed in 1860 “Loot from Summer Palace, Perkin, October 1860, Captain James Gunter, King’s Dragoon … Read More