Cultural Heritage News

  • 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.

  • 10 Apr 2014 7:24 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Zuni Ask Europe to Return Sacred Art

    PARIS undefined Octavius Seowtewa, an elder of the Native American Zuni tribe from New Mexico, was sitting in a Paris cafe late last month, scrolling through his iPhone pictures of Ahayuda, carved and decorated wooden poles that are considered sacred to the Zuni. They were taken at his recent meetings with representatives of major European museums, whom he is hoping he can persuade to return the artifacts.

    Mr. Seowtewa, who exudes a quiet persistence and was dressed that day in a black leather blazer, dark slacks and a button-down shirt, acknowledged that he hadn’t had much luck in his meetings at the Musée du Quai Branly here or at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, among others. But he said he was just getting started.

  • 10 Apr 2014 7:19 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Taking on Art Looters on Twitter

    Monica Hanna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dr. Hanna has come to the United States to draw attention to the looting of Egyptian artifacts.Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

    Monica Hanna stood inside the Malawi National Museum in Minya, Egypt, last August, armed only with a cellphone and her Twitter account, as looters ran rampant. Nearly all the objects she had loved since childhood undefined mummies and amulets, scarabs and carved ibises undefined were gone. In their place lay shattered glass, shards of pottery, splintered wood and the charred remains of a royal sarcophagus.

    The thieves had stolen all but a few dozen of the museum’s 1,100 artifacts, leaving behind some statues and painted coffins that were too heavy to cart off. Dr. Hanna, a 30-year-old archaeologist, sent out a tweet pleading for help. Soon, she, some colleagues and local police officers were hauling the surviving relics to a truck as men fired automatic weapons nearby.

    “We are trying to create communal watchdogs all around Egypt,” Dr. Hanna said in an interview this week from New York, where she is drawing attention to the looting in her homeland and to the power of social media to help curb it. “But for now we are like butter spread over too much bread.”

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

    Treasure Salvage Licence Hopes Are 'Wrecked'


      Tribune Business Reporter

      A senior government official yesterday seemingly ‘wrecked’ salvagers’ hopes for speedy licence approvals, revealing that a moratorium remained in effect and suggesting their motives did not necessarily align with the Bahamas’ national interests.

      Dr Keith Tinker, the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation’s (AMMC) director, told Tribune Business that a moratorium on wreck searches and salvage leases in the Bahamas remains in effect for now, as the necessary protocols to prevent “the rape” of historic sites still need to be put in place.

    • 08 Apr 2014 1:58 PM | Anonymous
      ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods launches its website, as an important stage in this three-year project on the initiative of ICOM with the financial support of the European Commission.

      The website of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods was launched officially during ICOM’s 128th Executive Council meetings held in Paris, France, on 4 and 5 April, 2014. Now available to the public at, the website marks an important stage in the initial triennial phase of the project.

      For additional information, please visit
    • 07 Apr 2014 1:29 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
      The archaeology paradox: more laws, less treasure

      Tight restrictions on export and ownership of artifacts is leaving the world a poorer place.

      By Adam Wallwork

      April 7, 2014

      The Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Sotheby's auction house undefined these are just some of the major institutions that have been forced to repatriate artworks in recent years. Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Cambodia have all successfully used their cultural property laws to secure the return of important antiquities from collectors and museums.

      Treasures from King Tutankhamen's tomb that had been in the Met's collection for almost a century went back to Egypt. In 2006, the Met agreed to return the Euphronios krater, a masterpiece Greek urn that had been a museum draw since 1972. In 2007, the Getty agreed to return 40 objects to Italy, including a marble Aphrodite, in the midst of looting scandals. And in December, Sotheby's and a private owner agreed to return an ancient Khmer statue of a warrior, pulled from auction two years before, to Cambodia.,0,5826790,print.story


    • 07 Apr 2014 1:26 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
      Egyptian ministries working to get back stolen cartonnage
      Nevine El-Aref, Sunday 6 Apr 2014
      Artefact stolen at Saqqara during security breakdown after January 2011 revolution and eventually ended up in hands of French citizen, who now wants to give it back to Egypt

      Representatives from Egypt's ministries of antiquities and foreign affairs will meet on Wednesday with the lawyer of a French citizen to discuss the return of a piece of cartonnage that was stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country.

      Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim toldAhram Onlinethat the piece in question is 19-cm tall and shows a part of an ancient Egyptian coffin inscribed with three hieroglyphic lines depicting the different titles of the deceased.

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