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

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

Argentina and Spain Return Thousands of Artifacts to Peru and Ecuador

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Moche Earrings

Over 4,000 cultural heritage items have been returned to Peru this week after having been seized from traffickers and art collectors almost 16 years ago, in Buenos Aires. The artifacts include pre-Columbian items, metals, textiles, wood, ceramics and bone, and constitute the largest amount of cultural artifacts to be returned to date. Argentina and Spain are also returning over 500 artifacts to Ecuador, adding to … Read More

Abbasid Wooden Beams Recovered from London Auction House

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Abbasid Caliphs Egypt

Eight wooden beams stolen from the Dome of the Abbasid Caliphs are now in the process of being repatriated to Egypt. The Dome of the Abbasid Caliphs dates to the 7th and 8th centuries. The well-preserved mausoleum is located near the famed Al-Sayeda Nafissa shrine in downtown Cairo. The beams, inscribed with verses from the Quran, had been illegally trafficked to … Read More

After 53 years, Kashmir gets back some of its rare artefacts

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A1584 3/4 View

After decorating the shelves of Shimla Museum for 53 years, a collection of artifacts has returned to Kashmir, thanks to civil society intervention and judicial orders. The artifacts were transferred to  Himachal Pradesh from Jammu and Kashmir as a result of shady deals between political and opportunist bureaucratic circle in the 1960s. “Over the years our cultural treasure has been looted by people at … Read More

Stolen Relief of Seti I Returns to Egypt

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Seti I Relief

This week, a New Kingdom limestone relief from the reign of Seti I was returned to Egypt after it had been smuggled out of the country following illegal excavations. It was recovered from an auction hall in London, England, and, after two months of negotiations, was returned to Egypt on Monday. The return of the relief is a successful example … Read More

The vote is in: We want international cooperation for cultural heritage protection

Heather LeeReport, Review, Update, What do you think?1 Comment

  On May 29, SAFE opened up an informal poll to gauge public opinion on the issue of international cooperation on cultural heritage protection. This was inspired by Egypt’s request for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to restrict imports of Egyptian archaeological and ethnological material into the United States. The goal was to raise public awareness, a core mission of SAFE. … Read More

Auctioning Sacred Objects in Paris, Indigenous Cultural Patrimony, and Burdens of Proof

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Hopi Indian with government official

The April 2013 auction of sacred Native American ceremonial items by the auction house Néret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou* in Paris proceeded only after legal action and vocal international protests from indigenous peoples, anthropologists, museologists, and even the USA government. Ultimately, the French courts upheld the property right of artifact collectors and the auction house over the rights of the Hopi … Read More

I am Greek and I want to go home

Paul BarfordReport2 Comments

The Independent Movement for the Repatriation of Looted Greek Antiquities has produced a video: ‘I am Greek and I Want to go Home’ Photography, Concept and Artwork by Ares Kalogeropoulos Original Music (“Rise”) by Ares Kalogeropoulos It can be seen alongside this one, take a good look at this message to the British: Help make them go viral. .