Cultural Heritage News

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  • 29 Oct 2014 1:53 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    IU researchers awarded grant for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act training

    • Oct. 28, 2014


    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The National Science Foundation has awarded a $194,685 grant to Indiana University researchers to study the professional training that scholars receive related to understanding, appreciating and complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. 

  • 29 Oct 2014 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has passed resolutions that will place Venice on theWorld Heritage in Danger list if the Italian government does not actively protect what the committee describes as “an extraordinary architectural masterpiece.” As the Italian government considers how to handle massive cruise ships overrunning Venice, UNESCO has made is clear that oversize vessels should be banned from the lagoon in order to protect the port city and World Heritage SiteAccording to the Art Newspaper, UNESCO is opposed to any plan that would dramatically alter the land- and seascape surrounding the lagoon, and urges developers to carry out careful environmental impact assessments before beginning any large-scale projects.


  • 28 Oct 2014 11:36 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    How the West buys ‘conflict antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria (and funds terror)

    By Sam Hardy
    October 27, 2014
    “Many antique collectors unwillingly support terrorists like Islamic State, ” Michel van Rijn, one of the most successful smugglers of antique artifacts in the past century, told German broadcaster Das Erste this month
    And smuggling is booming in Iraq and Syria right now. In Iraq, 4,500 archaeological sites, some of them UNESCO World Heritage sites, are reportedly controlled by Islamic State and are exposed to looting. Iraqi intelligence claim that Islamic State alone has collected as much as $36 million from the sales of artifacts, some of them thousands of years old. The accounts data have not been released for verification but, whatever the exact number is, the sale of conflict antiquities to fund military and paramilitary activity is real and systematic.
  • 27 Oct 2014 1:46 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Opinion: How ISIS Funds Terror Through Black Market Antiquities Trade

    By: Brig. Gen. Russell D. Howard U.S. Army (retired), Jonathan Prohov and Marc Elliott
    Updated: October 27, 2014 11:17 AM

    As coalition airstrikes attempt to curb the expansion of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), the radical Islamist group is digging in militarily as it is simultaneously digging out priceless and irreplaceable historical antiquitiesundefinedin some cases with heavy earth-moving machineryundefinedwhich it sells on the black market to fund its Caliphate ambitions. By doing so, a significant amount of ISIS assets are out of reach from traditional counter terror finance measures.

    Illicit trafficking of all kinds affords ISIS a diverse income stream that many corporations would envy, and a good deal of attention has been paid to ISIS trafficking in humans, weapons, and commodities, such as oil. These illicit funding sources are more reliable and profitable than foreign donor money, and they make ISIS financially self-sufficient. However, although UNESCO recently confirmed that ISIS is trafficking in art and antiquities to finance its operations, the issue has received little attention in the press or in policy-making circles, despite tens of millions of dollars of revenue obtained through such activities

  • 27 Oct 2014 7:28 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Syrian Official Honored for Work Protecting Antiquities


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

    Odyssey Marine: Victory And Vindication

    Disclosure: The author is long OMEX. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More...)


    • Odyssey Marine granted right to salvage HMS Victory (Victory) by the UK’s Minister of Defence (MOD).
    • MOD represented the final significant obstacle to the Victory salvage operation.
    • Victory may hold over three-quarters of a billion dollars in artifact, ingot, and coin value.
    • OMEX receives 80% of coin value and 50% of artifact value from salvage (under terms of 2012 agreement).
    • Our base-case assumes a $270 million recovery with net profit of $170 million to OMEX.

  • 26 Oct 2014 4:05 PM | Anonymous

    Full of frustration that a 27- year-old U.S.-El Salvador Memorandum of Understanding to stop looting of antiquities isn’t working, the Association of Art Museum Directors recommended against renewal recently. Instead, the Association advocated the formation of a “licit” market in antiquities there. It would be taxed, and the proceeds would be “used to protect cultural sites and to encourage related employment by the local populations and the scientific exploration, storage and conservation of objects from those sites.”

  • 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
    Your video will play in 27 secs

    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.

  • 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.

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