Cultural Heritage News

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  • 20 Apr 2015 1:13 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    123 stolen artefacts to return to Egypt

    A collection of antiquities are to be returned to Egypt after being found in a persons luggage at New York airport by customs

     Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 19 Apr 2015

    Within days, a collection of 123 artefacts from different ancient Egyptian eras are to arrive in Cairo from the United States after it was proven that they were illegally smuggled out of the Egypt.

  • 20 Apr 2015 7:18 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    European authorities on alert for looted Syrian antiquities

    Alice Ritchie| Agence France Presse

    LONDON: As armed groups in Syria and Iraq destroy priceless archaeological sites, European authorities and dealers are on high alert for smaller, looted artifacts put on sale to help finance the jihadis’ war.

    Stolen-art expert Chris Marinello, director of Art Recovery International, said he has been shown photographs of items being offered from Syria that were “clearly looted right out of the ground.”
  • 20 Apr 2015 7:16 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Doha: UN anti-crime meeting asks to curb illicit trade in cultural property

    • New York, Apr 17
    • IBNS
    • 3 days ago

    Weighing in on the vital importance of the world's cultural artifacts and the illegal trade that endangers them, experts at an event held at the United Nations Crime Congress, under way in Doha, Qatar, urged Member States to use the existing legal instruments to fight this crime and stressed the importance of raising awareness.

    "We are pushing and we are encouraging all Member States to implement the existing Conventions and guidelines that are available. I think there are enough legal instruments to be able to counter illicit trafficking of cultural heritage," said Anna Paolini the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the countries of the Gulf region and Yemen.
  • 20 Apr 2015 7:11 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Peer furious at UK ‘dithering’ over treaty to protect cultural heritage

    Lord Renfrew says artefacts in Iraq endangered by war would be protected under the Hague convention

    Dalya Alberge

    One of Britain’s foremost archaeologists has voiced his fury over the government’s apparent refusal to ratify an international treaty to protect cultural property.

    Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, a Conservative peer and Cambridge academic, said the world had watched in horror as Isis militants destroyed ancient artefacts in Iraq. Yet, he said, Britain “dithered” rather than join other countries in ratifying the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which was adopted at The Hague in 1954. He told the Observer: “It seems outrageous that Britain doesn’t adhere to the convention, which makes it illegal to do those things in Iraq.”
  • 16 Apr 2015 2:27 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Briton gives up 3,300 year-old ancient Egyptian artifact

     By Rany Mostafa

    CAIRO: A 3,300 year-old ancient Egyptian pillar fragment that once stood at Karnak temples in Luxor and was illegally smuggled to London, will return to Egypt in the next few days, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said in a statement Thursday.

    Chairman of Egypt’s Restored Artifacts Department Aly Ahmed told The Cairo Post that Damaty’s announcement came “after the British citizen, who possesses the fragment, contacted the Egyptian Embassy in London he decided voluntarily to return it back to the Egyptian authorities after he found out it was original and was illegally smuggled.”
  • 15 Apr 2015 10:36 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    New York Authorities Seek Custody of Stolen Artifacts Worth Over $100 Million

    By TOM MASHBERGAPRIL 14, 2015 The Manhattan district attorney’s office on Tuesday made public the largest antiquities seizure in American history and asked a judge to grant it custody of a startling 2,622 artifacts recovered from storage rooms affiliated with an imprisoned Madison Avenue art dealer.

    The artifacts, valued by the authorities at $107.6 million, were described in papers filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan as having been looted from India and other places in southern Asia and smuggled into the United States by the dealer, Subhash Kapoor.
  • 15 Apr 2015 8:01 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Return of Kapoor loot: US keen, Oz stalling

    By S Vijay Kumar

    When Luis Martinez, public affairs officer with Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, US, spoke last week about a secret investigation into one of the largest art theft scandals in America, he let the world know the full extent of "Operation Hidden Idol." This US government operation has already recovered nearly 1,000 items, worth an estimated $150 million, linked to the art dealer Subhash Kapoor facing trial in Tamil Nadu.

    This announcement would have created a storm in any other country, but sadly it sank without a trace in India, barring a reference to the return of a few pieces from a Hawaiian museum.
  • 14 Apr 2015 1:09 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Christie’s withdraws over £1.2m in ancient artefacts after Glasgow academic identifies them as stolen


    The auction house Christie’s has removed over £1.2 million worth of ancient artefacts after an academic from a Scottish university identified them as being linked to criminal networks in Europe The Scotsman reports.

    Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, a research assistant at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research warned Christie’s was failing to carry out checks after he found images of the stolen artefacts in archives taken from Italian art dealers convicted of art trafficking offences.

    The treasures were meant to be sold at auction in London tomorrow but have been removed after Dr Tsirogiannis informed Interpol as well as Italian authorities.
  • 14 Apr 2015 9:12 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    UNESCO Director-General condemns destruction at Nimrud 

    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced further destruction at the archeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, shown in graphic detail on a video circulating on social media channels.

    “I condemn this mad, destructive act that accentuates the horror of the situation. It confirms that the terrorists are not only destroying representations of figures and bas-reliefs. With their hammers and explosives they are also obliterating the site itself, clearly determined to wipe out all traces of the history of Iraq’s people.”

    The Director-General expressed her solidarity with the people and government of Iraq, and recalled UNESCO’s action to protect heritage and coordinate the efforts of the international community in the struggle against illicit traffic of cultural goods.
  • 13 Apr 2015 1:22 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Isis: Islamic State's war on history and the multimillion dollar global antiquities trade

    The global trade in illicit antiquities has become increasingly important to Islamic State (Isis) as revenue from oil smuggling drops in the face of coalition air strikes and the Iraqi army offensive, even if the group is far more infamous for destroying rather than trading invaluable relics of Iraq and Syria's past.

    Even as IS blew up the ancient city of Nimrud, south of Mosul, and published a video of the destruction on the internet, experts were warning that the looting and trade in antiquities out of IS-held areas of Iraq and Syria was more prominent now than ever before.

    "They are very practical about what they destroy. They destroy things that are not easily marketable, and sell the portable antiquities," said Boston University professor Michael Danti, who is academic director at ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives, a programme set up by the US State Department.
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