Argentina and Spain Return Thousands of Artifacts to Peru and Ecuador

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Moche Earrings

Over 4,000 cultural heritage items have been returned to Peru this week after having been seized from traffickers and art collectors almost 16 years ago, in Buenos Aires. The artifacts include pre-Columbian items, metals, textiles, wood, ceramics and bone, and constitute the largest amount of cultural artifacts to be returned to date. Argentina and Spain are also returning over 500 artifacts to Ecuador, adding to … Read More

New Digital Projects Aimed at Preserving Cultural Heritage

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Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction

In response to the devastating cultural heritage destruction by ISIS, several projects have emerged in the hopes of recording and protecting, albeit digitally, destroyed cultural and historic sites. Project Mosul was created one week after the video depicting the destruction of artifacts in the Mosul Museum. It is the brainchild of Chance Coughenour and Matthew Vincent, Ph.D. student researchers in Europe’s  Initial Training Network for … Read More

Deploying Technology to Rescue the Past

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Palmyra's theater by Jerzy Strzelecki (Wikipedia)

How are digital tools used to record artifacts and monuments for posterity, in light of cultural destruction by ISIS? Future Tense, a partnership of Arizona State University, New America and Slate, that explores emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy, will hold a panel discussion tonight, January 28th, from 6:00 – 7:30PM on these pressing issues. You can join the discussion via Twitter … Read More

Iran Urges UNESCO Push to Protect Cultural Heritage in Syria, Iraq

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Temple of Bel, Palmyra

In a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in Paris on Thursday, President Rouhani reminded international organizations, UNESCO in particular, of their heavy responsibility to safeguard the cultural heritage in war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. The president further called on UNESCO to take a more active role in using “cultural capacities” to combat violence and terrorism, specifically to prevent destruction … Read More

Employees Face Fines for King Tut’s Restoration

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King Tuthankhamun

Eight employees from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt face heavy fines for reckless destruction of King Tutankamun. It was found that they violated many of the scientific and professional standards for restoration, specifically improperly gluing of the mask’s beard. King Tut is one the most oldest artifacts dating to 3,300 years. Click here to read the full story. Photo: King Tuthankamen’s burial … Read More

The Antiquities Coalition Releases Interactive Map of Culture Under Threat

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Antiquities Coalition. 2016. “Culture Under Threat Map,” The Antiquities Coalition

The global heritage destruction caused by Daesh and other terrorist groups is sadly in the news all to often. Yet when their activities are viewed as individual incidents it can be difficult to grasp the scale and scope of cultural devastation that is being inflicted across the region. In effort to visually show the broad scale of cultural heritage destruction … 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

Alaaddin Mosque Restoration Scandal Investigated

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800px-Alaedin_Camii

In Antalya, Turkey – a city surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, the Mediterranean coast, and much to do – the crown gate of the Alaaddin Mosque underwent restoration. However, it was recently revealed that the structure had been broken into pieces and that no visible measures had been taken to protect the very rare stones, which dated back 800 years. The … Read More

SAFE at the 2016 AIA Annual Meeting

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San Francisco 1

Last week, from January 6th to 9th, I was thrilled to attend the 117th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco. All of us at SAFE were particularly proud to be in attendance this year, both for the presentation of SAFE’s 2015 Beacon Award, and to celebrate SAFE’s founder, Cindy Ho, as she was honored by … Read More

Stricter Antiquites Laws Anticipated in Pakistan

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800px-A_view_of_Shadandur_Valley_Khot_Torkhow_Chitral_Pakistan_Photo_by_Rahmat_Aziz_Chitrali

Pakistan is in the process of strengthening their cultural heritage protection laws. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Bill 2015 has received provincial cabinet approval, and is now waiting on final provincial assembly approval. The bill greatly increases the imprisonment times and fines for damaging, smuggling, and counterfeiting antiquities. It would also create a cultural heritage conservation board “responsible to control illegal … Read More