Free Ports Bound to Cultural Property Trafficking Ties

Khamal PattersonUncategorizedLeave a Comment


Conspiracies and beliefs that important things that affect us are being concealed from us are a part of our daily discourse as modern societies. The revelations in the wake of the recently released Panama Papers forced people to consider some unnerving things about how the legal industry can use its vast, liberating knowledge to help powerful people conduct business in … Read More

The Power of One, and Community in Protecting Cultural Heritage

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Three figurines from Anatolia, Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany

The looting of archaeological artifacts is an issue that affects us all, across the globe, with ramifications which go beyond an academic, institutional need for understanding our cultural heritage. They touch upon issues of local identity, community, and historical reconstruction, both for understanding the past, but also for considering our future. Likewise, the protection of cultural heritage, not only in … 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

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

Archaeologists Return to Northern Iraq

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Ancient City of Ashur

  Progress is being made toward protecting antiquity in northern Iraq. Within the past month, ISIS was pushed out of the area, thus allowing archaeologists to return to several heritage sites. The terrorist organization has inflicted damage on these sites and looted many antiquities. However, archaeologists in Iraq have resumed work and have all ready discovered several Neanderthal remains. It … Read More

ISIS’ Cultural Heritage Destruction Largest Since WWII

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Iraq Nimrud - Assyria Lamassu's Guarding Palace Entrance

ISIS –  also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh – has looted up to $300 million worth of antiquities in the Middle East. The group targets museums and cultural sites for artifacts to sell on the black market. This provides a significant source of funding for the terrorist organization. The problem lies herewithin recovering the stolen, and sometimes … Read More

‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities

Stella SudekumNewsLeave a Comment

11 jan 2016

A police raid in Bulgaria was heralded as a rare success against the trafficking of antiquities, but it also highlighted the barriers officials face. Illicit trafficking of antiquities has reached peak levels in the ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq. Laws differ from country to country, and despite universal condemnation for the Islamic State’s destructive actions against culture, few … Read More

2015: A Year of Art Crime

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Throughout 2015, art crime found it way to the headlines. These crimes took on many forms and shocked the world in their motivation and execution. With advancing technology, criminals have improved techniques in forgery and stealing art hoping to profit from their fakes and black market sales. The world saw ISIS’s destruction and “industrial-scale” looting of cultural heritage in Palmyra and … Read More

Preserving Babylon with Digital Reconstructions

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Country: Iraq
Site: Babylon
Caption: Southern palace from inner city wall
Image Date: November 22, 2010
Photographer: Jeff Allen/World Monuments Fund
Provenance: Site Visit
Original: email from Ken Feisel

Conservation in a digital age is changing the face of cultural heritage preservation. The World Monuments Fund has used laser scanning to create digital 3D models of ancient Babylon. The digitizing project began in 2010, as a preventative measure in case new threats to the site arose in the future; now that other archaeological sites such as Hatra, Nimrod, and … Read More

Syria Antiquities Chief Says Turkey Refuses to Return Looted Antiquities

Logan RecchiaNewsLeave a Comment

Bust of a Woman from Palmyra on display in the Vatican Museum

Syria’s Antiquities Chief Maamoun Abdulkarim accuses Turkey of refusing to return seized antiquities looted in Syria. Abdulkarim claims that the artifacts amount to a total of 2,000 objects illegally excavated from sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra and the older site of Mari. The two countries have opposed each other since the civil war in Syria started in … Read More