Monica Hanna to receive 2014 SAFE Beacon Award

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The archaeologist Dr. Monica Hanna will be the next recipient of the SAFE Beacon Award for her exemplary efforts in shedding light on the looting situation in Egypt. Home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, Egypt has had a profound influence on the cultures of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. For centuries, Egyptian archaeological sites have been looted – most recently … Read More

SAFE closes 2013 global awareness campaign with gratitude

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SAFE the Donny George Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage

SAFE would like to thank you for joining and participating in the 2013 Donny George Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage, marking the tenth anniversary of the looting of the National Museum of Iraq and the subsequent founding of our organization. The amount of insightful stories, shared reflections, and heartfelt comments that we have received over the past six months has … Read More

Memories of a Broken Museum: Ten Years of SAFE

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SAFE is grateful to Roger Atwood for sharing this personal reminiscence with us in observance of the 2013 Donny George Candlelight Vigil for Global Heritage. The photos accompanying this reflection are previously unpublished and exclusively SAFE’s. A little over 10 years ago, after a long flight from Washington and an overnight taxi ride from Amman, I arrived at the ruined Iraq … Read More

“Why is it even showing them?” Roger Atwood on the Bourne collection’s fakes and undocumented objects

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What do fakes have to do with the problem of looting? Fakes and unprovenanced, authentic antiquities often turn up together in collections because neither was found through the transparent process of archaeological excavation. They flock together.  Collectors might think their connoisseurship protects them from fakes, but they get hoodwinked all the time. This is not a sign of denseness or gullibility, … Read More

And the SAFE Beacon Award Winners are…

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2011: Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino – SAFE honors investigative journalists and co-authors of Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum (read Professor Senta German’s review here) for assembling “an extraordinary array of sources with which they tell a story the Getty wants no one to know” and for educating the public about how museum … Read More

Two halves of “The Weary Herakles” to reunite, but…

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For those concerned about doing the right thing about cultural heritage, the case of the “Weary Herakles” has awaited resolution for the past three decades. Naturally, there is a sense of relief when Geoff Edgers reported that the statue will be “made whole” after all this time, referring to the apparent agreement to return the top part of the statue … Read More

Buyers Beware

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Related to the New York Times story commented here, it’s disheartening to see that nothing has changed since Roger Atwood’s 2007 critique regarding U.S. media coverage of antiquities issues. ‘Trophy Hunters With Their Eyes on Interiors‘ is a puff piece that glorifies adventurous exploits in search of the “ultimate” authentic-looking old objects. The story advertises and promotes architects, designers and contractors, … Read More

The New York Times and the Met: Too close for comfort (again)?

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In The New York Times December 16 article. Andrew Jacobs writes about a Chinese delegation’s recent visit to US museums to document objects that have been plundered from Yuanmingyuan (Beijing’s “Old Summer Palace”). In 1860, the imperial palace was looted and burnt to the ground by order of James Bruce Elgin, the son of Lord Elgin who took the famed … Read More

Roger Atwood launches new Web site

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Roger Atwood has been writing on art, archaeology and museums since the late 1990s in books and articles. His new Web site collects much of that writing along with photos, a bio, and excerpts of reviews of his SAFE Beacon Award winning book Stealing History. The book was the inspiration for SAFE Tours, which Roger has given since 2004. SAFECORNR … Read More

“Organizing local people can save knowledge”

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In National Geographic’s April 10 story “King of Bling” Tomb Sheds Light on Ancient Peru” the remarkable excavation of Lord of Ucupe was described as “a first”. “This find is particularly important, because it is the first time we have found an individual outside of Sipán that is the same type as some of the leaders found in Sipán,” according … Read More