Cultural Heritage News

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  • 24 Oct 2014 1:08 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Germany attracts trade in looted artifacts

    Terrorist organizations like the 'Islamic State' make a fortune selling looted artifacts from local sites. German antiques dealers are involved, too, and experts say the country is in need of legal reform on the matter.

    The Palmyra oasis in the Syrian desert is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But after it was overrun and occupied by the terrorist militia "lslamic State" (IS), what was once a tourist magnet now resembles a moonscape.

  • 23 Oct 2014 1:31 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    ISIS threatens Iraq's priceless cultural heritage

    By Ben Wedeman and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
    updated 9:57 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
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    Baghdad (CNN) -- There's been no shortage of news coverage of the atrocities carried out by ISIS against the people of Iraq and Syria, from beheadings to massacres to selling kidnapped women into sexual slavery.

    What's less well known is the devastation the Sunni extremist group is wreaking on Iraq's priceless cultural heritage.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/world/meast/iraq-isis-cultural-destruction/

  • 22 Oct 2014 2:44 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Fighting the looting of Belize’s cultural treasures

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting:

     The U.S. Embassy and National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) today co-hosted a workshop on preserving and protecting Belize’s cultural heritage.

    Belize has many treasures, both on land and on sea, but we are subject to unscrupulous individuals raiding our resources for private gain, selling priceless artifacts to the highest bidder internationally.

    http://www.patrickjonesbelize.com/2014/10/21/fighting-looting-belizes-cultural-treasures/

  • 22 Oct 2014 2:40 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    25 Peruvian cultural treasures returned to the government of Peru

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    WASHINGTON undefined Four separate investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led to the seizure of several looted Peruvian artifacts smuggled into the United States during the last several years. The artifacts were returned Wednesday to the Peruvian Consuls during simultaneous repatriation ceremonies in San Antonio, Denver and Boston.

    Items returned included two Colonial-era Cusco paintings, a funerary vessel from 100-1532 A.D., a Chancay statue from 1200-1450 A.D., a Lambayeque-style vessel from 800-1300 A.D., and Incan artifacts looted from ancient Peruvian graves.

     

    http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSICE/bulletins/d77cf6

  • 22 Oct 2014 11:57 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    In war against ISIL, a fine line between facts and artifacts

    How John Kerry used the Met’s new exhibition to argue for airstrikes in Syria

    October 22, 20142:00AM ET

    On Sept. 22, a few hours before U.S. airstrikes began against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It was the opening of an exhibition of Middle Eastern treasures dating back to the early Iron Age, when the Assyrian empire had spread from the banks of the Tigris to become the region’s superpower and Phoenician sailors were hawking commodities like tin and cedar all over the Mediterranean.

    Now softly lit in glass cases, the figures of kings, goddesses, lions, sphinxes, griffins, sirens and something listed as a “scorpion bird man” were sculpted long before Jesus or Muhammad came onto the scene. Many of the relics function as reminders that the old conceptual dividing line between East and West didn’t always exist. A piece of Philistine pottery that borrows from Greek, Egyptian and Canaanite traditions shows the creative cross-pollination of the time, and pieces of Babylonian and Phoenician history are explained with references to Bible stories and Homeric verse

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/10/in-war-against-isilafinelinebetweenfactsandartifacts.html

  • 22 Oct 2014 11:54 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    NGA wrote off $5.6m cost of Shiva

         

    by:michaela boland

    THE National Gallery of Australia paid $5.6 million for its 900-year-old Dancing Shiva from disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor in 2008 but by the time Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month handed back the looted bronze effigy, it was valued at $6m.

    The NGA’s annual report reveals the gallery wrote off the loss of the piece last financial year, after having accepted without challenge India’s request for its return. There was no mention of the remaining two dozen Kapoor pieces in the gallery’s collection, worth about $6m collectively.

    Those items include a pair of 15th century Door Guardians from Tamil Nadu and a sixth-century Serpent King thought to be from Madhya Pradesh.

    http://m.theaustralian.com.au/arts/visual-arts/nga-wrote-off-56m-cost-of-shiva/story-fn9d3avm-1227096577939?nk=c898ddafa855c4cb78ca39f7a7645fcc
  • 22 Oct 2014 7:46 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Feds Lose Fight Over Ancient Mummy Mask

    Jenna Greene, The National Law Journal

    October 21, 2014

    A fight over a 3,200-year-old Egyptian artifact with questionable provenance came to a close last week when the federal government paid $425,000 in attorney fees and costs to Dentons and Husch Blackwell for their work on behalf of the Saint Louis Art Museum, which owns the disputed Mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer.

    U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors, representing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sued the museum in 2011, claiming that the mummy mask was stolen property when it was imported, and that the museum was obligated to return it to Egypt.


    Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202674136582/Feds-Lose-Fight-Over-Ancient-Mummy-Mask#ixzz3GsDclrQF

  • 22 Oct 2014 7:36 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Culture War

    The Case Against Repatriating Museum Artifacts

    JAMES CUNO is President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. He is the author of Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum and Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage.

    From our November/December 2014 Issue

    In December 2007, the Italian government opened an exhibition in Rome of 69 artifacts that four major U.S. museums had agreed to return to Italy on the grounds that they had been illegally excavated and exported from the country. Leading nearly 200 journalists through the exhibition, Francesco Rutelli, Italy’s then cultural minister, proclaimed, “The odyssey of these objects, which started with their brutal removal from the bowels of the earth, didn’t end on the shelf of some American museum. With nostalgia, they have returned. These beautiful pieces have reconquered their souls.” Rutelli was not just anthropomorphizing ancient artifacts by giving them souls. By insisting that they were the property of Italy and important to its national identity, he was also giving them citizenship.

    Rutelli has hardly been the only government official to insist that artifacts belong to the places from which they originally came. In 2011, the German government agreed to return to Turkey a 3,000-year-old sphinx that German archaeologists had excavated from central Anatolia in the early twentieth century. Afterward, the Turkish minister of culture, Ertugrul Gunay, declared that “each and every antiquity in any part of the world should eventually go back to its homeland

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142185/james-cuno/culture-war

  • 21 Oct 2014 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII.

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141021_ww11_vessels.html


  • 21 Oct 2014 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII.

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141021_ww11_vessels.html


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