Cultural Property Laws: Why They Fail and How They Can Be Improved

social media teamArticle, Commentary2 Comments

Workers unload 2nd c .AD Roman sarcophagus

The destruction and looting of cultural heritage sites and antiquities is a pervasive problem in Iraq and, more recently, Syria, as both areas are plagued by wider political conflicts. Despite international cultural property legislation established to prohibit the destruction or theft of cultural heritage (including the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed … 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

LA Art Dealer Imprisoned for Smuggling Operations

Logan RecchiaNewsLeave a Comment

Bowers Museum

An ancient art dealer who operated the now defunct Silk Roads Gallery in Los Angeles was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for smuggling antiquities and committing tax fraud. The dealer, Jonathan Markell, has been charged with forging documents and object histories that allowed him to illegally import antiquities from Southeast Asia. Markell sold the artifacts to collectors, who … Read More

The thorny issue of deaccession

Heather LeeArticle, Commentary3 Comments

Deaccessioned

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

CONSERVATION CAN BEGIN AT HOME!

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 opencongress.org, a site which obtains information from maplight.org, 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 MapLight.org and we were told that our … Read More