The thorny issue of deaccession

Heather LeeArticle, Commentary3 Comments


On July 10, 2014, at Christie’s in London, a 4,000-year-old Egyptian limestone statue of an official named Sekhemka was sold to a telephone bidder for £15,762,500 (or $27,001,163, with the buyer’s premium). This sale was strongly opposed by several groups, including the UK Museums Association (MA), the Save Sekhemka Action Group, and Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry. Why the controversy? It is … Read More

Why we care about the cultural heritage of Egypt – now.

SAFECORNERAlert, Announcement, Commentary1 Comment

egypt malawi head

Originally posted on February 6, 2011, the following is reposted as a reminder of why we Say YES to Egypt’s Heritage! (Photo: Egypt’s Heritage Task Force: الحملة المجتمعية للرقابة على التراث والأثار ) No one knows what the future holds for Egypt. Our hearts and hopes are with the Egyptian people as they struggle toward genuine democracy. The first priority now must be the country’s stability, its citizens, their … Read More

Neil Brodie: It is no surprise that the looting continues.

Neil Brodie10 years after, Article, Commentary5 Comments

We thank Neil Brodie for joining pur 2013 Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage with the following statement. Dr. Brodie, an author of “Looting and the World’s Archaeological Heritage: The Inadequate Response” with Colin Renfrew, is a SAFE Beacon Award Winner in 2008. Ten years ago, in 2003, I was reading a lot about the looting of archaeological sites and museums in … Read More

Faking It: A Case for Museums of “Fakes”

Beatrice KellyArticle, Commentary4 Comments

Jibaozhai Museum

You may have heard in the news last week that a Chinese Museum has been forced to close following evidence revealing much of its collection to be fake. The museum reportedly cost more than 60 million yuan to build, with twelve exhibition halls of what are now apparently brilliant fakes. The Jibaozhai Museum in Hebai opened in 2010 and has … Read More


safe-admin10 years after, CommentaryLeave a Comment

We are grateful to Professor Colin Renfrew, who is currently on fieldwork in Greece, for taking the time to send the following reflections in observance of our 2013 Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage. Colin Renfrew, Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, received his PhD from Cambridge University writing his thesis on Neolithic and Bronze Age Cultures of the Cyclades and their external relations. After … Read More

Long Walks in the Museum

Dillon de Give10 years after, AnnouncementLeave a Comment

Long walks in the museum-flux factory

I met Cindy Ho when she was getting SAFE off the ground 10 years ago. At that time I was involved in the advertising industry as a creative technician, and beginning to question its ethical environment. It was exciting to volunteer for SAFE. One of the reasons SAFE was (and is) exciting is its explicit use of rhetorical technique to … Read More

Alert: SAFE still says NO to S. 2212

Brooke TodsenAlert, AnnouncementLeave a Comment

It has come to our attention that, a site which obtains information from, is listing SAFE as a supporter of Senate Bill 2212 (United States Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act). This is clearly incorrect. SAFE objects to this bill for reasons explained in our recent blog post. SAFE contacted OpenCongress and and we were told that our … Read More

Say NO to Senate Bill 2212

SAFECORNERAnnouncement4 Comments

On March 20th, the United States Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (S. 2212) was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). It was read twice and then referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy(D-VT). It is the counterpart to House Bill 4086 (H.R. 4086), which had been introduced in the House of Representatives on February 24, 2012 and … Read More

FROM THE FIELD: Speaking with Omara Khan Massoudi, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan

Joanie Meharry and Shaharzad AkbarFrom the field, InterviewLeave a Comment

Omara Khan Massoudi is more of a permanent feature at the National Museum of Afghanistan than many of the collections that are housed there. Now the director, he has worked at the Kabul museum for more than three decades: a tumultuous period that bore witness to the Soviet occupation, Mujahideen civil war, and Taliban regime, when irreplaceable collections were relocated … Read More

Oscar Muscarella’s “mixed…mostly negative” review: “Archaeologists and Acquisitionists”

SAFECORNERReviewLeave a Comment

Oscar Muscarella, the outspoken critic of the antiquities trade and the plunder of cultural heritage reviews The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: Professional, Legal, and Ethical Perspectives, a collection of eight published papers presented at a symposium held at the University of Notre Dame on February 24, 2007, organized by Robin F. Rhodes and Charles R. Loving. The review, … Read More