The ethics of “tomb raiding?”

Damien HufferCommentary, Report4 Comments

This rather shocking article needs to be further exposed. Cultural internationalism and a demand for antiquities justified for aesthetic and “preservation” related reasons appears to be alive and well, at least where open-air purchasing of potentially authentic pieces of Angkor Wat in Thailand are concerned! Closing the article by stating how much they purport to have learned regarding the “rights, … Read More

“A Primer on the Restitution of Looted Antiquities”

SAFECORNERAnnouncementLeave a Comment

The Fall/Winter 2010 edition of Cultural Heritage & Arts Review, a publication of the American Society of International Law’s Interest Group on Cultural Heritage & the Arts, is now available by subscription. One of the articles “The Ancient World Meets the Modern World: A Primer on the Restitution of Looted Antiquities” can be found on Herrick, Feinstein LLP‘s web site. … Read More

What does the law say about cultural heritage?

SAFECORNERReviewLeave a Comment

We are pleased to call attention to a helpful document by Christina Luke, entitled ‘Understanding the U.S. Border: Archaeologists, Law Enforcement, and the Preservation of Cultural Heritage‘, aimed “to provide the archaeological community and others with an overview of how law enforcement works to protect cultural heritage; to outline the safeguards offered by cultural heritage law; and to suggest ways … Read More

Geneva… Singapore… now Red Hook?

SAFECORNERCommentary15 Comments

Known for its “industrial charm”, New York’s Red Hook section in Brooklyn will soon be home to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services – a subsidiary of the auction house. In Wall Street Journal’s article “The Ultimate Walk-In Closet”, Kelly Crow questions if Christie’s “is walking a delicate line”: balancing clients’ desire for confidentiality and customs’ desire to “deter potential smugglers … Read More

Old collections: a convenient myth?

Paul BarfordCommentary4 Comments

Dealers in unprovenanced archaeological material frequently evoke the argument that a lot of the material on the market today comes from the dismantling of old collections; collecting of archaeological artefacts has been going on, they say, since the Renaissance. In debate they can even show examples of such long-curated finds. Dealers assure buyers that this means that there are a … Read More

What cultural nations do…

Paul BarfordCommentaryLeave a Comment

My eye was initially caught by the large photo in the article (Egypt to retrieve ancient statue from Netherlands) about a case that has already been in the news recently about the shabti bought by a private collector which has been identified as coming from Sakkara and having been stolen. The accompanying text contains, unintended by the author, a comment … Read More

Where we forgot our history

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The following article is published at the request of its author, Mehiyar Kathem, who has recently completed a MSc in Development Management at the London School of Economics (LSE) and is currently fundraising for the Cultural Heritage Awareness Initiative (CHAI) – a project of the Baghdad based education focused NGO, the Culture For All (CFA) – One of the … Read More

It’s All the Same: the Looting of ‘High Art’ vs. the Looting of the Minor Arts

Nathan ElkinsArticle, Commentary4 Comments

When ancient objects are studied from recorded contexts, usually through scientific excavation, they are invaluable historical sources. In archaeological excavations, all classes of objects are systematically recorded and studied by specialists. Archaeology has evolved from its origins in treasure-hunting and the indiscriminate antiquarian accumulation of objects into a scientific discipline, which treats each object as an historical source, the usefulness … Read More