Gary Vikan’s Life in Living Color at the Walters Art Museum

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Gary Vikan is a vivacious character who enjoys regaling people with vivid yarns about art and life. He is the former director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland who stepped down in 2013. The Walters hosts a vast collection of art, artifacts, and antiquities. Last year, Mr. Vikan published his memoir “Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum … Read More

Exclusive SAFE Interview: Dr. Leslie Anne Warden

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Leslie Warden

In this Exclusive SAFE Interview, Dr. Leslie Anne Warden, Egyptologist and Professor at Roanoke College, discusses her role as an archaeologist to preserve and protect Egyptian heritage, as well as the importance of education to combat threats such as looting and heritage site destruction.   Please describe your academic/professional background and how your passion for ancient Egypt began. When I … Read More

The Antiquities Coalition Joins CLIR on Planning for Digital Library of the Middle East

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From our partners at The Antiquities Coalition: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources $149,500 to support exploratory research, community building, and technical prototyping for the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME). Along with the horrific loss of life and human suffering in the region, the cultural heritage of many nations in the … Read More

Spotlight on: The Great Wall of China

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Great Wall of China in Winter

SAFE recognizes the significance of the Great Wall of China as a World Heritage site as well as a monumental symbol of the historical and archaeological richness of Chinese culture. This very richness has made the Great Wall a treasure trove for unscrupulous collectors, an obstacle for uncontrolled urban development, and a target for vandals. SAFE understands the challenges involved in … Read More

Exclusive SAFE Interview: Donna Yates

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Yates Belize

Donna Yates, Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime, the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow 1. Please describe your professional and educational background for our readers. I have always wanted to be an archaeologist, but I thought I was just going to be a regular Maya archaeologist. While studying at Boston University, I worked in … Read More

The Proposed Bears Ears National Monument

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Prehistoric Granary overlooks Cedar Mesa. Photographer: Josh Ewing. Photo courtesy of the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition.

On October 15, 2015, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition submitted a proposal for the designation of a new United States national monument to be called Bears Ears. The 1.9 million acre area of land holds over 100,000 archaeologically and culturally significant sites. Bears Ears’ sheer size, breadth of sites, and lack of protection for those sites, make it one of … Read More

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative & The Launch of the Conflict Culture Research Network

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Image_CCRN Launch

On June 23, 2016, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative hosted “An evening of discussion about cultural heritage and human rights” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The event featured comments by Karima Bennoune (United Nations Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, Human Rights Council) and a screening of The Destruction of … Read More

Asia Week Raids Cast a Spotlight on Antiquities Trafficking in India

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Art auctions can be a source of nail-biting excitement with high prices breaking the record books. Yet, during the 2016 Asia Week in New York City, the headlines were dominated not by shockingly high sales, but by federal seizures of illegally trafficked Asian antiquities worth a combined estimate of $4 million. The seized artifacts were recovered as part of the … 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

Hiker Discovers 3,500 Year Old Seal and Returns it

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Sphinx Seal Impression

Last month, an Israeli hiker exploring the Horns of Hattin in the Lower Galilee chanced upon an oval, beetle-shaped seal that likely surfaced as a result of recent thunderstorms in the area. The area of the discovery is well known as the site of a former fortified citadel dating to the Late Bronze Age. Upon discovery and out of curiosity, the man contacted the Israeli Antiquities Authority, who … Read More