Cultural Heritage News

  • 07 Feb 2015 4:08 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    U.N. sets sights on Syria antiquities, Islamic State oil, ransoms

    UNITED NATIONS Fri Feb 6, 2015 4:08pm EST

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council appears set to ban all trade in antiquities from war-torn Syria, threaten sanctions on anyone buying oil from Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front militants and condemn paying kidnap ransoms to the groups.

    The United States worked with its veto-wielding counterparts on the council - Russia, China, Britain and France - to draft a resolution that was to be circulated to the remaining members of the 15-nation council on Friday, a U.S. official said.

    Russia initially suggested the council ratchet up pressure on Islamic State, also known by one acronym as ISIL, diplomats said.
  • 07 Feb 2015 3:52 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Tomb raiders and the profits of doom



    Tomb robbing is sometimes described as the second-oldest profession. It ebbs and flows as local and international conditions change, and it flourishes in poor countries. Carefully managed aid, development, education and policing can reduce it but, according to the experts, it has been growing steadily for the past hundred years.

    Though the situation varies between countries and even within territories, from Cyprus to Afghanistan and Iraq to Syria, there is significant evidence that politically motivated armed groups are engaged in the illicit trade in antiquities.

    The ancient treasures are commodities from which armies and paramilitaries make money by theft, smuggling or sale, or ‘protection’ – often called taxation – of those activities. It is cultural racketeering. Yet while the norm against trading in conflict - See more at:

  • 07 Feb 2015 3:39 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Ratification by Madagascar of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2 November 2001)

    On 19 January 2015, Madagascar deposited with the Director-General its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

    In accordance with the terms of its Article 27, the aforementioned Convention will enter into force with respect to Madagascar three months after the date of the deposit of this instrument, that is to say on 19 April 2015.

  • 02 Feb 2015 11:19 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Gang of 'antique smugglers who sold looted treasures to fund ISIS' busted in Spain

    Spanish police have arrested five men on suspicion of smuggling antiquities from Egypt to raise funds for the terrorist group

    A gang of alleged antique smugglers have been arrested after being suspected of selling stolen Egyptian relics to fund Islamic State terrorists.

    Spanish police claim the network were operating out of mosques in Barcelona after they raided a shipment which they believe originated in Egypt.

  • 02 Feb 2015 9:49 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Bulgaria busts international antiquities trafficking ring

    Written by The Sofia Globe staff on January 30, 2015

    Bulgaria has seized more than 2000 ancient and medieval objects during two major operations against an international crime group trafficking in antiquities.

    The State Agency for National Security (SANS) announced the two recent operations on January 30, two days after European police agency Europol said that 35 individuals had been arrested and 2289 cultural artefacts seized, in an international operation supported by Europol to prevent the theft and trafficking of European cultural property.
  • 29 Jan 2015 12:43 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Cultural heritage:  Save Libyan archaeology

    Savino di Lernia1


    Libya is a hotspot for research into the human past. The Sahara, the largest hot desert in the world, was once green and hosted until a few thousand years ago the biggest freshwater lake on Earth1. Some depictions of crocodiles and cattle engraved and painted on the walls of rock shelters in the Sahara date back 9,000 years. 

    The desert is also a laboratory for investigating links between past climate changes and developments in human history2, 3. These include the dispersal of modern humans across Africa about 130,000 years ago4, the oldest evidence5 of milking in Africa around 5200 bc and the establishment of the first Saharan state6 during the first millennium bc.

  • 28 Jan 2015 12:03 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)


    MP leads campaign to stop Islamic State funding terror through trafficking

    UK and US collaborate to cut off one of group’s top revenue streams
  • 28 Jan 2015 10:20 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    No one group has done more to put our heritage at risk than Islamic State’

    International cooperation is key to shrinking the market for looted art from the Middle East
  • 28 Jan 2015 9:10 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    San Juan CBP officers seize pre-Columbian artifacts

    Release Date: 
    January 28, 2015

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Five carved pieces dating to the time of the indigenous people of the Greater Antilles islands, were found last week inside the luggage of a traveler by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations officers at the Luis Munoz Marin International airport.

    The traveler indicated that the 5 carved clay items were Arawak or Taino artifacts that were given to him as gift in the Dominican Republic.
  • 27 Jan 2015 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    Since 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) has shaped the preservation of America’s historic and cultural heritage legacy in every corner of the nation, and generated widespread social and economic impacts. It stabilizes neighborhoods and downtowns, contributes to public education, attracts investment and creates jobs, generates tax revenues, supports small business and affordable housing, and powers America’s heritage tourism industry. Publicly-owned historic properties, from community landmarks to federal facilities and national parks, also maintain community pride and identity, contribute to local and regional economies through their operation and maintenance, and foster a variety of public uses.

    Preservation50 is the United States’ effort to plan, celebrate, and learn from the achievements and challenges of the NHPA’s first five decades and to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America. Please check out the website ( and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn how you can get involved with this historic celebration.

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