Cultural Heritage News

  • 16 Apr 2014 9:10 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Briton fined £500 by UK court for attempted sale of smuggled Egypt antiquities

    After a nine-month trial, UK national admits to unlawful possession and attempted sale of Egyptian antiquities purchased from a local shop owner whose numerous outlets include one in a five-star hotel in Luxor
    Amer Sultan in London, Tuesday 15 Apr 2014  

    A UK court has fined a British citizen £500 after he admitted having attempted to sell a number of ill-gotten Egyptian antiquities.

    Neil Kingsbury, who had previously worked on BBC documentary series about the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and other early archaeological adventures, was arrested after six items were identified in Christie's London antiquities sale last year.

    Kingsbury told Christie's that he inherited the items from an uncle who had lived in Egypt for some years after serving in World War II.

  • 16 Apr 2014 9:01 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Notice of Receipt of Cultural Property Request From the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt

    Egypt, concerned that its cultural heritage is in jeopardy from pillage, made a request to the Government of the United States under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The United States Department of State received this request in April 2014. Egypt's request seeks U.S. import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material from Egypt representing its prehistoric through Ottoman heritage.

    The specific contents of this request are treated as confidential government-to-government information, consistent with applicable U.S. law.

  • 15 Apr 2014 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archaeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more ancient than believed until now.

    Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year 753BC.

  • 15 Apr 2014 1:12 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Oriental Institute wins lawsuit, keeps Iranian tablets

    In the third court ruling in a 17-year dispute, court rules Oriental Institute can keep Iranian tablets.

    Photo: Courtesy of the University of Chicago
    Pictured: one of several Achaemenid Tablets owned by the Oriental Institute and discovered during an excavation in the 1930s.
    In late March, the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute won the right to keep a collection of Iranian tablets in a court case that marked the latest chapter of a 17 year–long dispute.

    The conflict over the tablets originated in 1997 when a shopping mall in Jerusalem was the target of a Hamas-led terrorist attack. A group of nine American survivors filed successfully in U.S. courts for over $300 million for damages against the Republic of Iran, which has funded Hamas periodically. Iran refused to pay the damages, and the plaintiffs have since tried to get their compensation elsewhere, including by claiming a right to a collection on loan from Iran at the Oriental Institute. The same group has also unsuccessfully attempted to seize Iranian artifacts from the Field Museum and from museums in Massachusetts and Michigan.


  • 15 Apr 2014 10:19 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Stolen art cannot be brushed over, so sign the UK up to the Hague convention

    There is no excuse for Sajid Javid not to ratify the rules that ultimately protect people's cultural heritage

    No films about art stolen in wartime appear for years and then two come along at once: Wes Anderson's funny Grand Budapest Hotel, with a plot that revolves around the disappearance of a "priceless" painting called Boy with Apple, or the more serious and realistic The Monuments Men.

    The latter is George Clooney's latest directorial venture and concerns an allied forces group of museum curators and art historians in the second world war who attempt to stop the Nazis destroying the cultural treasures of occupied countries.

    One of the characters, on finding a stash of stolen art, tracks down the Parisian address of its rightful owners. The house he arrives at is abandoned, its Jewish occupants long since fled or taken. "They aren't coming back," his companion says. But nonetheless, he leaves the portrait of a woman hanging on the bare wall, staring out sadly, defiantly.

  • 15 Apr 2014 10:09 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    FBI Locates Lost Treasures and Returns Them to Poland
    Seventy-Five Paintings by Hanna “Kali” Weynerowska Considered Polish Cultural Artifacts, National Treasures
    FBI San Francisco April 11, 2014
    • Peter D. Lee(415) 553-7450

    FBI agents from the San Francisco Field Office returned 75 lost paintings that are considered cultural artifacts and national treasures to Poland’s Ministry of Culture yesterday.

    “The FBI is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Polish counterparts in ensuring safe passage of these lost national treasures,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the San Francisco Field Office. “Preserving our past is priceless, and we were honored to be a part of this quest to get these paintings finally home.”


  • 11 Apr 2014 12:29 PM | Anonymous
    A faded fragment of papyrus known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, has been tested by scientists who conclude in a journal published on Thursday that the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery.
  • 11 Apr 2014 10:08 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    • Looted marble Mask of Gorgon returned to Algeria
    Artefact found in Tunisia beside the swimming pool of the ousted president’s family

    The Mask of Gorgon was among 165 archaeological objects that turned up in Sakher el-Materi’s villa

    Tunisia has returned the “Mask of Gorgon” to Algeria. The white marble artefact was found sitting beside a swimming pool in the villa of Sakher el-Materi, the son-in-law of Tunisia’s ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.


  • 11 Apr 2014 10:07 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    Italian collector’s ‘private museum’ seized by police
    Antiquities worth an estimated €150m were taken from a villa outside Rome

    The villa in Lanuvio contained a vast collection of antiquities, many of which were arranged in display cabinets

    Italy’s financial police have seized hundreds of archaeological artefacts from an art collector’s villa outside Rome.

  • 11 Apr 2014 7:34 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Return of illegally exported cultural objects: simpler rules approved by culture MEPs

    CULT Press release - Culture10-04-2014 - 15:27
    An expert from Bulgaria's National History Museum shows an ancient coin, featuring Alexander The Great. ©BELGA_AFP_N.DOYCHINOV An expert from Bulgaria's National History Museum shows an ancient coin, featuring Alexander The Great, at a news conference in Sofia on June 16, 2011. Canada returned 21,000 illegally excavated and smuggled coins to Bulgaria. ©BELGA_AFP_N.DOYCHINOV

    An informal deal with Council on revised rules to help member states recover cultural objects unlawfully removed from their territory was endorsed by the Culture and Education Committee on Thursday by 14 votes to one.

    Several EU countries, such as Italy, Poland, France, and Germany and Romania, have suffered serious thefts and illegal exports of cultural heritage goods since the single market was created.

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