Stricter Antiquites Laws Anticipated in Pakistan

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Pakistan is in the process of strengthening their cultural heritage protection laws. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Bill 2015 has received provincial cabinet approval, and is now waiting on final provincial assembly approval. The bill greatly increases the imprisonment times and fines for damaging, smuggling, and counterfeiting antiquities. It would also create a cultural heritage conservation board “responsible to control illegal … Read More

‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities

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11 jan 2016

A police raid in Bulgaria was heralded as a rare success against the trafficking of antiquities, but it also highlighted the barriers officials face. Illicit trafficking of antiquities has reached peak levels in the ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq. Laws differ from country to country, and despite universal condemnation for the Islamic State’s destructive actions against culture, few … Read More

Antiquities Dealer Facing Charges of Looted and Forged Artifacts

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Olmec, El Manati, Wooden Busts

Over the past 40 years, antiquities dealer, Leonardo A. Patterson, has amassed a large private collection of pre-Columbian art. Known as the Patterson Collection, it includes 1,029 Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec artifacts. Despite years of claiming that all of his pieces are genuine and legally acquired, Patterson is now facing simultaneous charges of possessing looted artifacts and selling fakes. The … Read More

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”

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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?

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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…

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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