Cultural Heritage News

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  • 30 Jun 2015 2:26 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    UNESCO unveils global campaign to counter deliberate destruction of cultural heritage

    • New York, June 30
    •    

       

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday launched the Global Coalition Unite for Heritage campaign, which aims to strengthen the mobilization of governments and all heritage stakeholders in the face of deliberate damage to cultural heritage, particularly in the Middle East. 

    http://www.newkerala.com/news/2015/fullnews-81317.html

  • 29 Jun 2015 1:38 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Museums and looted art: the ethical dilemma of preserving world cultures

    How can western ‘universal’ museums acquire and display artefacts without stoking the illegal arts trade and reproducing colonialist narratives?

    Kanishk Tharoor

    Monday 29 June 2015 13.03 EDT Last modified on Monday 29 June 2015 13.36 EDT

    Every month produces new cases of the “repatriation” of antiquities from American museums to their countries of origin.

    In late May, Italian authorities displayed 25 looted artefacts retrieved from the United States. They included some objects smuggled by the infamous dealer Giacomo Medici, convicted in 2004 for selling thousands of stolen pieces of Greco-Roman art from Italy and the Mediterranean. A few weeks earlier, the Cleveland Museum of Art returned a 10th-century statue of the Hindu god Hanuman to Cambodia. The idol had been hacked from the Prasat Chen temple in Siem Reap in the 1960s before journeying via a litany of dealers into the holds of the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1982.

    In April, homeland security agents relieved the Honolulu Museum of Art of seven ancient Indian artefacts believed to have been acquired through Subhash Kapoor, a New York-based art dealer. 

    http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/jun/29/museums-looting-art-artefacts-world-culture

  • 29 Jun 2015 1:26 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    World Heritage Committee opens with an appeal to protect cultural heritage sites targeted for destruction

    Bonn (Germany), 28 June—An appeal for the international community to counter the new threat of violent extremism and cultural cleansing was issued at the opening of the World Heritage Committee, which opened its session in Bonn, Germany, today. The Committee will remain in session until 8 July under the chair of Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office and member of the Bundestag. In a video message, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of the importance of heritage for our understanding of cultures.

    https://en.unesco.org/news/world-heritage-committee-opens-appeal-protect-cultural-heritage-sites-targeted-destruction 

  • 29 Jun 2015 1:14 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Islamic State Is Selling Looted Art Online for Needed Cash

    by Sangwon Yoon

    June 28, 2015 — 7:42 PM EDT Updated on June 29, 2015 — 10:11 AM EDT

    The Whatsapp message appeared on his iPhone: photos of an ancient Mesopotamian vase worth $250,000, part of a highly-valued set, is waiting to be extracted.

    The recipient, Amr Al Azm, replied that he was interested. How to proceed? A message from a different account followed. The vase could be smuggled through Lebanon.

    Al Azm, an anthropology professor in Ohio, was faking it, as he does when photos of looted antiquities are sent to him in the belief that he is a collector or dealer. He is a detective - - self-appointed -- hoping to save some of mankind’s rarest and most vulnerable artifacts by tracking the burgeoning antiquities trade of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-28/isis-has-new-cash-cow-art-loot-it-s-peddling-on-ebay-facebook

  • 29 Jun 2015 1:11 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    UN: Islamic State Destruction of Heritage Sites a War Crime

    BERLIN — Jun 29, 2015, 11:14 AM ET

    By DAVID RISING Associated Press

    The U.N.'s cultural agency said Monday the destruction of antiquities and heritage sites in conflict zones by the Islamic State and other extremist groups could amount to war crimes.

    The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Bonn, noted the Islamic State's destruction of the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq and expressed "deep concern" about the Syrian archaeological gem of Palmyra, which the group captured in May. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/islamic-state-destruction-heritage-sites-war-crime-32100589

  • 29 Jun 2015 7:57 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    CULTURAL HERITAGE AGREEMENT SIGNED BY SPAIN AND CHINA

    By Press Release / 2015-06-26 15:21:35

     

    The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the State Administration for Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will run for five years and which will include aspects such as the protection and restoration of cultural heritage, underwater archaeology, museum exhibitions and the illegal trafficking of cultural assets.

    Signed by the State Secretary for Culture, José María Lassalle and the Chinese Vice Minister for Culture, Li Xiaojie, the MoU provides for both governments to promote and support: 

    http://www.theleader.info/article/47742/spain/national/cultural-heritage-agreement-signed-by-spain-and-china/
  • 29 Jun 2015 7:50 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    House Passes Bill to Coordinate U.S. Cultural Property Protection

    posted on: Friday, June 26, 2015

    U.S. efforts at protecting and preserving international cultural property, which currently is spread across no fewer than seven federal agencies, may soon be better coordinated. On June 1st, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (H.R. 1493 or the Act), which would establish a new position within the Department of State – the U.S. Coordinator for International Cultural Property Protection (the Coordinator). The House bill sponsors are: Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY); Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ); Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-CA); Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA); Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ); Rep. Ted Poet (R-TX); Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA); Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI); and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA). Although no corresponding bill has yet been introduced in the Senate, a corresponding bill is anticipated. The Coordinator would work with federal agencies to coordinate and promote their activities – this would include diplomatic, military, and law enforcement activities. The Act would also create a Coordinating Committee on International Cultural Property Protection, which is to be chaired by the Coordinator, with the committee members comprised of representatives of the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Smithsonian Institution, and such other entities as the chair may deem appropriate 

    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/house-passes-bill-to-coordinate-us-cultural-property-protection

  • 23 Jun 2015 8:00 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Rebels, Syrian government work together to protect antiquities

    Riham Kusa, Special for USA TODAY 3:38 p.m. EDT June 22, 2015

    Despite a raging four-year civil war, rebel factions and Syrian officials are working together to protect the country's rich heritage sites from each other's bombs — and the Islamic State.

    Across the country, irreplaceable artifacts have been under siege since 2011, when fighting erupted between the Syrian government and rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad. 

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/06/22/syria-archaeology/28977009/

  • 22 Jun 2015 10:19 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Italy's Artifacts Police Wage Global War, Recover 137,000 Objects

    “Culture commandos” combine the roles of archaeologists, paleontologists, art historians, and combat-trained shock troops.

    By Frank Viviano, National Geographic

    PUBLISHED June 19, 2015

    MORGANTINA, Sicily—Three thousand years ago, this broad ridge 50 miles west of Mount Etna was the perch of a magnificent city. Its monumental architecture and refined art, its irrigation systems and agricultural wealth, made it a leading Mediterranean power half a millennium before the rise of Imperial Rome.

    Today, most of its wonders lie under acres of wild fennel and oleander. In several hours amid the ruins, this reporter encountered only five tourists, two unpaid volunteers, and not a single guard or maintenance worker. Ancient Morgantina is among archaeology’s most neglected secrets.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150618-carabinieri-morgantina-italy-art-theft-antiquities-trafficking/

     

  • 22 Jun 2015 7:55 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    UK to fund global squad of ‘Monuments Men’

    Tim Shipman Published: 21 June 2015  

    BRITAIN is to back a modern-day team of “monuments men” to salvage the world’s cultural treasures from destruction in war.

    The government is to help fund a group of “rescue archaeologists” to go to Iraq to salvage treasures bulldozed by Islamists and will host a summit in September to set up a cultural protection fund to support future missions.  

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/article1571676.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2015_06_20

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