Cultural Heritage News

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  • 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


  • 21 Oct 2014 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Jihadists looting ancient archaeological sites, including 244 BCE synagogue; officials warn 5,000 years of history being erased.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185308?utm_content=buffer01893&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#.VEaGt_nF8UT

  • 20 Oct 2014 10:20 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Egyptian mummies held by Miami customs due to ivory import ban

    Officials conducted extensive checks on the vessels and jewellery that travelled with the bodies

    Earlier this year, regulations concerning the import of ivory into the US were tightened, meaning that customs agents had to conduct extensive checks on the ancient ivory vessels and jewellery that accompanied the mummies and 250 other artefacts intended for display. While the issue was resolved, the entire cargo remained in customs.

    http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Egyptian-mummies-held-by-Miami-customs-due-to-ivory-import-ban/36016

  • 16 Oct 2014 4:02 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    SIS’s Looting Campaign

    By David Kohn

    For the past eighteen months, the University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Katharyn Hanson has been spending a lot of time analyzing satellite images from Iraq and Syria. As fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) overrun the region, they have been digging up many archaeological sites and looting whatever they find. “You get these sites that look like Swiss cheese, with all the holes,” Hanson said. “It’s just pockmarked.”

    Thousands of vital archaeological sitesundefinedremains from Bronze and Iron Age settlements as well as from Islamic, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizationsundefinedare now at risk. Humans built the first cities in the region, and some spots have been continuously occupied for more than six thousand years. “It’s a cliché, but it’s true. This is the cradle of civilization,” the director of research at the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Brian Daniels, told me.

    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/isis-looting-campaign-iraq-syria

  • 14 Oct 2014 1:42 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    It’s Not Too Late to Save Syria’s Cultural Heritage

    Inside the restored Omayyad Mosque, Old City of Damascus, SYRIA undefined As Marcus Aurelius instructs us: “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”

    By definition, our shared global heritage, which has been in the custody of the Syrian people for ten millennia, belongs to all of us and for this reason each of us must work to preserve it for our progeny.

    The people of Syria are petitioning the United Nations, regional powers, archeologists and our wider global community to, reject, as they themselves do, the rationale of ‘ unavoidable war-time collateral damage’ in their conflict which today is severely assaulting archeological treasures in their beloved country. Over the past century, scientific excavations and study of our global heritage in Syria have barely scratched the surface so rich as concentrated are archeological artifacts from a score of empires that have inhabited this land. Syrians, like the international public are horrified and sickened by the continuing and in some areas, accelerating desecration, illegal excavations, looting and hateful destruction of irreplaceable antiquities.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/13/its-not-too-late-to-save-syrias-cultural-heritage/

  • 10 Oct 2014 1:09 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Should loaned treasures go to Kyiv or Crimea?

    Oct. 9, 2014, 11:09 p.m. | Museums undefined by Iryna Matviyishyn

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea is having all kinds of unexpected consequences, including cultural ones.

    An archaeological museum in Amsterdam is reluctant to return ancient golden exhibits on loan from Crimean museums before the March annexation.

    Hundreds of Scythian and Sarmatian golden adornments and weapons were on display in Bonne and Amsterdam since January and attracted 88,000 visitors. The exhibition closed on Aug. 31, and now the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam is not sure whether the exhibits should be returned to Crimea, Ukraine or neither of them.

    https://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv/should-loaned-treasures-go-to-kyiv-or-crimea-367543.html

  • 10 Oct 2014 1:06 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    A Common Heritage At Risk
    By Michael Jansen
     
    Last month more than 80 leading archeologists and scholars issued a public letter calling on the UN Security Council to prohibit trade in Syrian antiquities which are being dug up, stolen from key sites, and sold on the international black market to provide funds for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups.

    "Our shared world heritage in Syria is being looted and turned into weapons of war," the letter stated. "Ancient sites dating back to the very earliest moments of human civilisation are being crudely dug up and sold to foreign collectors."

    http://www.aina.org/news/20141010013704.htm

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