Undisturbed Etruscan Tomb Discovered in Italy

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A reclining figure on the lid of one of the Etruscan urns found in the tomb. Photo: Soprintendenza Archeologia dell'Umbria

The devastating impacts of looting area all too common in the Umbria region of Italy. Here, it is rare to find a tomb which hasn’t been damaged by looters. This unfortunate fact has led to gaps in our knowledge about the Etruscans, an early Italic people who made significant contributions to the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. Recently, however, the … Read More

Prominent coin dealer and hand surgeon thought he was selling real stolen coins

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Dr. Arnold-Peter Weiss, a prominent Rhode Island hand surgeon, a professor of orthopedics at Brown University School of Medicine, and a dealer in ancient coins, pleaded guilty on July 3, to attempted criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor offense, for trying to sell what he thought were authentic ancient Greek coins that he believed had been looted from Sicily. But the coins … Read More

“Retentionist” or just doing the right thing?

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Recovered Italian objects image from " "Retentionist" or just doing the right thing?"

According to KVAL.com article “Stolen Italian antiquities recovered from Oregon home” Phillip Pirages, the book dealer whose manuscript pages were forfeited by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “was very impressed with how serious the (Italian) government was about reclaiming these[.]” Indeed, Italy is not alone in its determination to reclaim its cultural patrimony. In recent years, many culturally rich “source” … Read More

Returns to Italy from North America

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Sculptures/antiquities returned to Italy-Returns to Italy from North America-

Various antiquities from Princeton University Art Museum, a healthcare company, a New York gallery, and a New York private collector linked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art have been returned to Italy. It is hoped that a more detailed list will appear shortly. The museum and gallery have already returned items to Italy.

“Chasing Aphrodite” Fall Book Tour comes to NYC

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The 2011 SAFE Beacon Award Winners are busy traveling the East Coast this fall discussing their book, Chasing Aphrodite. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet Jason Felch this October in New York City. Lecture and Book Signing October 24, 6 pm Silver Center Room 300 Washington Square East New York University “Jason Felch will give a presentation about … Read More

“She is the property of Italy…and they have every right in the world to put her in that museum. It feels right to have her there.”


Senta German interviews Ralph Frammolino, co-author with Jason Felch of the recently published Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum in the latest installment of SAFE podcasts. Professor German had recently reviewed the book on SAFECORNER. The topic has also been discussed here. In this clip, Frammolino recalls the ceremony unveiling the statue’s recent return to … Read More

The Importance of Documenting Cultural Heritage

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In 1957 the British archaeologist John S.V. Bradford – a pioneer in the use of aerial photography for the documentation of archaeological landscape – published the map of the impressive walls surrounding the ancient city of Arpi, the most important centre of the pre-Roman Daunian culture flourished in the Italian region of Apulia between VIII and IV centuries B.C. At … Read More

Import restrictions on Italian antiquities extended

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Today’s Federal Register announced that import restrictions imposed on certain archaeological material originating in Italy have been extended for another five years. The material represents the pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman periods of its cultural heritage, ranging in date from approximately the 9th century B.C. through approximately the 4th century A.D. The determination was made under the terms of the … Read More

Time ran out in the case against Marion True

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As previously reported here the trial against Marion True, former curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum, ended on Wednesday, October 13. After five years, the True case, which would set a precedent for the prosecution of a museum curator for knowingly acquiring looted artifacts, ended on the grounds that the statute of limitations has expired. As quoted in the … Read More

Colin Renfrew asks: What about ongoing looting?

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Professor Colin Renfrew, 2009 SAFE Beacon Award Winner voiced his concerns that the problems of ongoing looting of archaeological sites around the world were not addressed in the lecture Looted art and its restitution: moral and cultural dilemmas for the twenty-first century, given by Professor Richard J Evans on Monday 7 June 2010 at Wolfson College, Cambridge. Professor Renfrew also … Read More