Iraq’s heritage: a global concern

SAFECORNERAnnouncementLeave a Comment

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SAFE has added Iraq to the “A Global Concern” page of its website. SAFE was founded in 2003 in response to the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. This overview of Iraq’s heritage and the threats it faces, therefore, adds an important layer of meaning to the mission and cause of SAFE. Heather Lee, a summer 2014 intern, explores … Read More

Heritage Crisis in Syria: a call for a moratorium on the antiquities trade

Heather LeeArticle, Commentary, From the field, Homepage3 Comments

The world has been closely following the tumultuous political upheaval behind the devastated state of cultural heritage preservation in Syria. A recent New York Times article describes “a feeling of impotence” that academics and archaeologists are experiencing in the face of the sheer magnitude of the danger threatening the cultural heritage of Syria. What will it take to stop the relentless destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage? It … Read More

Archaeological Looting is an Environmental Issue

Paul BarfordCommentary3 Comments

The supporters of the indiscriminate market in dug-up ancient relics are fixated on representing the fundamental issues at stake as those of “ownership”, whether by a state (by their use of labels such as “retentionist”, “Nationalist”) or private individuals (accompanied by a lot of “cold dead hands”-type fighting talk). What lobbyists of this persuasion strenuously fight shy of is admitting … 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

Britain’s Portable Antiquities Scheme Debated in Archaeological Journal

Paul BarfordCommentary, ReviewLeave a Comment

. The latest edition (volume 20) of the Papers of the Institute of Archaeology has a timely debate, with a typically thought-provoking and balanced keynote paper by David Gill which asks the fundamental question: “The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales?“. This follows the usual format of academic debate in a printed … Read More

Oscar Muscarella’s “Fifth Column” of Plunder Culture

Megan GannonCommentary1 Comment

All too often, debates about cultural property are made to look simply like battles between curators/collectors/dealers and archaeologists. In an article published in Studies in Honor of Altan Çilingiroglu. A Life Dedicated to Urartu on the Shores of the Upper Sea, Eds. H. Saglamtimur, et al. Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2009, “The Fifth Column Within the Archaeological Realm: The … Read More

In the name of ethics…

Megan GannonCommentary2 Comments

Yesterday, a French celebrity collector, Pierre Berge, alleged that he offered to donate two Chinese bronze animal heads to Taiwan’s National Palace Museum but was turned down. AFP reports that the museum’s refusal was rooted in ethical reasons as well as a reluctance to incite conflict with China. The article quotes the director of the museum, Chou Kung-shin saying: “In … Read More

Ethics in the Museum?

Sunny CherkeaAnnouncementLeave a Comment

A great topic to be discussing in this day and age! With the Metropolitan Museum of Art reviewing its policies and museum associations like the American Association of Museums drafting new guidelines, ethics in the museum should be discussed. The Institute of Museum Ethics has announced the 1st Biennial Graduate Student Conference: “New Directions in Museum Ethics.” The event will … Read More