The US State Department’s Iraq Cultural Heritage Initiative

safe-admin10 years after, AnnouncementLeave a Comment

At the 10th anniversary of the looting of the Iraq Museum the US Department of State issued this press release about its efforts to “protect, preserve, and display the rich cultural heritage of Iraq.” It is reposted below. Commemorating a Decade of U.S.-Iraqi Collaboration in Renewing the Iraq Museum Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC April 10, 2013 … Read More

US sets aside $79 Million for UNESCO

Lisa PrevilleUpdateLeave a Comment

Four months after pulling funding from UNESCO, the US State Department has added $79 million to its proposed budget for the UN agency in order to obtain a Congressional legal waiver so that funding can be restored. The US pulled its UNESCO funding, nearly 22% of the organizations overall funding, after the organization granted full membership to the Palestinian Authority … Read More

More False Claims about Lobbying on Antiquities Issues

Nathan ElkinsCommentary1 Comment

David Gill has recently addressed claims made by Peter Tompa that appear to have little basis in fact. Tompa is a lobbyist who represents commercial trade interests. He has alleged that the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) “was involved in behind-the-scenes lobbying on behalf of the Cypriot Department of Antiquities, the Cypriot government body that issues excavation permits that … Read More

Gill considers the current legal action pending against the US Department of State regarding the import of antiquities

Nathan ElkinsReportLeave a Comment

From “Why are ancient coins from Cyprus featured in a suit against the US Department of State?,” PR Newswire, 26 June 2009: SWANSEA, Wales,June 26/PRNewswire/ –David Gill, archaeologist, considers the recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit on the US Department of State. The FOIA suit was served in November 2007by three numismatic organizations; one of the three is based … Read More

Tons of Looted Afghan Antiquities Heading Back– Why Now?

Larry RothfieldCommentary1 Comment

National Geographic has an interesting story about England’s return of literally tons of Afghan antiquities seized at Heathrow over the past six years since the destruction of the Taliban regime. Although the story notes that Poor villagers lacking other sources of income use shovels and wheelbarrows to cart off precious objects from historic spots around the country, while criminal gangs … Read More

State Department Admits No Mechanism Exists for Providing Ongoing Security for Sites or Museums, Defends Its Efforts

Larry RothfieldCommentary4 Comments

What has the State Department done to protect sites? As readers of this blog already know, in October the State Department issued a fact sheet laying out its support of what was described as “numerous activities relating to the protection and preservation of Iraq’s cultural heritage”: These include emergency response to the looting of the Iraq National Museum, training of … Read More

Harrison Ford and the AIA

Nathan ElkinsCommentary2 Comments

Cross posted from Numsimatics and Archaeology: “Harrison Ford and the AIA” 13 June 2008. Several weeks ago, I reported on the Archaeological Institute of America’s (AIA) appointment of Harrison Ford to its Board of Directors (Numismatics and Archaeology: “‘That Belongs in a Museum!’” 21 May 2008). Harrison Ford is popularly known for his role as the dashing, adventurous archaeologist, Henry … Read More

“All the news that’s fit to print”?

SAFECORNERCommentary2 Comments

A few important omissions in Jeremy Kahn’s “Coin Dealers Sue State Dept. for Details on Import Bans” in the New York Times, on November 17, 2007 should be pointed out: In the article, Mr. Kahn claimed, “It was the first time the government had barred trade in a broad category of ancient coins…” But this is not true. While the … Read More