Cultural Heritage News

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  • 29 Aug 2014 2:29 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Meet the saviour of India's heritage

    Over the last decade, Kirit Mankodi, a Mumbai-based professor of Archaeology has been working hard to help recover the country’s stolen heritage and create an online profile of stolen Indian artworks

    In January 2014, Indian newspapers reported the return of three stolen sculptures undefined two amorous couples (known as Mithunas in Indian art), and a stone sculpture of a male deity from the US Immigration Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security to the Indian embassy. The three sculptures were valued at $1.5 million (Rs 9 crore). While the news widely featured and was appreciated by all Indian art lovers, very few are aware that it would have been impossible without the efforts of a Mumbai-based professor of Archaeology, Kirit Mankodi.

    Earlier, in 2010, Mankodi, an expert on Indian temples and sculptures, had helped Interpol trace the sculptures. He had identified one of the sculptures in an ad for sale in an international magazine. Mankodi immediately wrote emails to the Interpol and US Homeland Security with details about the sculptures, their place of origin and photographs of the site, before and after the theft. He also wrote emails to scholars, museums, art dealers and experts around the world to help locate the second one.

    Over the last decade, Kirit Mankodi, a Mumbai-based professor of Archaeology has been working hard to help recover the country’s stolen heritage and create an online profile of stolen Indian artworks

  • 28 Aug 2014 3:11 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Iraq and Syria’s cultural heritage face new threat from fanatics

    Fears grow that social media savvy Islamic State is exploiting monitors’ lists
  • 28 Aug 2014 8:45 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    The Parthenon marbles are the world's most beautiful art – and that's why we should give them back


    What can you do with the world's most beautiful art? Where does it belong? How should it be cared for and displayed?

    The art in question is the array of sculpture created in Athens in the 5th century BC to decorate the Parthenon, the temple to Athena that still, today, dominates the skyline of the Greek capital.

  • 28 Aug 2014 8:14 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    9th Circuit Rules For Repatriating Skeletons

    SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The 9th Circuit on Wednesday refused to overturn the repatriation of 9,000-year-old skeletons to the Kumeyaay Indian Tribes.

    In 2012, the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee, consisting of 12 tribes in San Diego County, sued the University of California in the San Diego federal court. The tribes argued that the school was required to repatriate the remains under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

  • 18 Aug 2014 1:34 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    The Lure of Antiquities

    LONDON undefined Antiquities are the art world’s niche market of the moment. Last month in London, sculptures from ancient Egypt and ancient Rome sold for 15.8 million pounds and £9.4 million respectively, setting the highest prices at Christie’s and Sotheby’s summer auctions of pre-20th-century works. At the same time, the British capital is reinforcing its reputation as the world’s leading art souk, where the international rich can buy masterpieces from just about any culture and era, with the opening of four galleries specializing in museum-quality objects from the ancient world.

    The rise in sales of stellar objects from Egypt, Greece, Rome and other ancient civilizations can be attributed in part to their timeless appeal. They’re attracting purchases from contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons and Marc Quinn, as well as impulse buyers from other collecting fields. The diversity of this client base, as well as the museum-proven quality of the artifacts themselves, make antiquities consistent sellers at international art fairs like Tefaf Maastricht and Frieze Masters.

  • 18 Aug 2014 7:38 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Lost in Translation: Germany’s Fascination With the American Old West

    AUG. 17, 2014

    RADEBEUL, Germany undefined Hans Grunert is no stranger to requests from Native Americans regarding the display of sacred items among the headdresses, moccasins, jewelry and hundreds of other artifacts at the Karl May Museum, housed in a faux-log cabin behind a stately 19th-century villa in this eastern German town.

    Since the museum’s opening in 1928, a Blackfoot medicine man has held a smoke ceremony for the peace pipe collection, and Lakota have made recommendations on how to display the contents of medicine bags in a way that appeases the spirits.

  • 18 Aug 2014 7:37 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Looted Shiva left outside for repair

    INDIAN police have revealed that an 1100-year-old Hindu sculpture of Shiva with his hands broken off was stolen from ­beneath a peepol tree in a temple complex, after it was taken outside for unauthorised repairs.

    The solid, 112cm-high stone carving was then smuggled from India to New York, where in 2004 it was sold to the Art Gallery of NSW for $300,000.

    According to the theft report by local police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Ardharishvarana was removed in 2002 along with seven other damaged sculptures from Vridhdhagiriswarar Temple.

  • 18 Aug 2014 7:27 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    Stolen fragments from pyramid tomb to be returned from Germany
    Egypt Embassy in Germany received samples of King Khufu’s cartouche chopped off late last year
    Nevine El-Aref , Friday 15 Aug 2014
    On Friday, German authorities handed over to Egypt’s ambassador to Germany, Mohamed Hegazy, samples of King Khufu’s cartouche, taken illegally by two German archaeologists from a room found inside the Great Pyramid.  

    The samples are due to arrive in Egypt within a week, to be examined and restored if necessary before being returned to their original positions inside the pyramid in Giza.

  • 18 Aug 2014 7:24 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Iraq's archaeological treasures at risk of

    Members of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in July seized the Mosul Museum of Cultural Heritage, officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed.

    Urging Iraqis to help authorities track and retrieve the stolen antiquities and collectibles, officials lamented the loss of property and archaeological treasures.

    Built in 1952, the Mosul Museum is the second largest and oldest museum in the country, following the National Museum in Baghdad.


  • 14 Aug 2014 11:19 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Nighthawkers hitting more archaeological sites

    Unauthorized excavations and thefts at historic and prehistoric sites are becoming a growing problem in Finland. Professional archaeologists say information on sites and earlier finds should be restricted to make them less tempting targets. Officials disagree.

    It is believed that the recent spate of illegal digging is mainly the work of "nighthawkers" - people with metal detectors who work illegally at night to remove artefacts from archaeological sites.

    Over the past six years, Finland's National Board of Antiquities has dealt with about 30 cases of illegal digging and the theft of artefacts from prehistoric and historic sites. So far this year, the Board of Antiquities has dealt with four serious cases. Many more, it is thought go unnoticed or unreported.

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