Cultural Heritage News

U.S. court suspends auction of ancient Iranian relief

October 28, 2017

A Green Light for Art Criminals?

By SCOTT REYBURN | September 1, 2017

The Art World Calls This Man When Masterpieces Go Missing

By  ALANNA MARTINEZ |  August 31 2017

Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors

by TOM MASHBERG |  August 1 2017

When Nigeria Celebrated Return of Stolen Artifacts

By NURUDEEN OYEWOLE |  July 16 2017

Why the Feds Were Smart Not to Throw the Book at Hobby Lobby for Buying Iraqi Loot

by LEILA AMINEDDOLEH |  July 12 2017

Hobby Lobby To Forfeit Smuggled Iraqi Antiquities

by RICHARD GONZALES |  July 5 2017

Satellite Images Reveal Mosul's Cultural Destruction

by KRISTIN ROMEY |  June 23 2017

The art born of destruction

by I.S. |  June 7 2017

  • 13 Oct 2010 8:53 PM | Anonymous

    Charges Dropped Against Former Getty Curator
    Wed, Oct 13, 2010 NBC


    Criminal charges against a former Getty museum antiquities curator accused of illicitly acquiring stolen objects were dropped by a judge in Italy who ruled that the statute of limitations had expired in the case.

    Marion True, who has consistently maintained her innocence, resigned her post with the Getty in 2005.

  • 07 Oct 2010 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    Ancient Roman helmet sells for 10 times estimated amount
    By Melissa Gray, CNN
    October 7, 2010 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)

    London, England (CNN) -- A detailed and well-preserved Roman parade helmet -- complete with fine facial features on its face mask, tight curly hair, and a griffin-topped cap -- sold at auction Thursday for 10 times its estimated amount.

    The helmet sold at Christie's auction house in London for 2.28 million pounds ($3.6 million). It had been estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 pounds (about $316,000 to $475,000).

    The buyer of the helmet was not immediately known.

  • 07 Oct 2010 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    Spanish armada sets sail to claim deep-sea treasure

    Gulf of Cádiz race by Spain's navy to lay claim to hundreds of wrecks before US firm Odyssey can get there

    Giles Tremlett, Wednesday 6 October 2010 18.29 BST

    Spain has sent an armada into waters around its coasts to seek out hundreds of shipwrecks in an attempt to head off a US marine exploration firm accused of plundering Spanish property from the seabed.

    Over the past month, more than 100 suspected shipwrecks have been located by the Spanish navy in the Gulf of Cádiz, considered one of the world's richest hunting grounds for underwater treasure.

    Dozens of Spanish galleons returning from the colonies in South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries are believed to have sunk in waters around Cádiz.

    Royal Navy warships and other British vessels may also be among the
    wrecks the Spanish navy says it has located.

  • 06 Oct 2010 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    Indian artifacts defendant pleads guilty to reduced charge
    Published: Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 1:05 p.m. Deseret News

    SALT LAKE CITY — Another of the two dozen people caught up in a Four Corners bust of artifacts trafficking pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Tuesday.

    Brandon Laws, 40, admitted in U.S. District Court that in 2008 he took a bead from a tribal ruin in San Juan County. The misdemeanor charge of trafficking stolen artifacts carries up to one year in jail and $100,000 fine. Judge Ted Stewart will sentence him Dec. 20.

  • 04 Oct 2010 9:11 AM | Anonymous
    Ratification by Honduras of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2 November 2001)

    On 23 July 2010, Honduras 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 Honduras three months after the date of the deposit of this instrument, that is to say on 23 October 2010.


  • 04 Oct 2010 8:41 AM | Anonymous

    [Lee Jae-min] Law on the return of artifacts
    2010-10-04 17:07  Korea Herald

    One of the current issues that arouses a heated emotional response from the people involved is the repatriation of cultural properties. The issue attracted global attention when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York decided to return to Turkey, after a lengthy legal battle, the so-called Lydian Hoard, which comprises 363 jewels and artifacts from the seventh century B.C. Presently, there are many pending disputes between the originating states and the museums and states that own artifacts. Originating countries make such strenuous efforts because cultural artifacts are considered to represent the formation of national or ethnic identity.

    If cultural artifacts represent national identity, each and every item is important and perhaps needs to be returned. In fact, however, there are two distinct groups of cultural properties located outside originating states: those forcefully or illegally removed from the place of origin, sometimes by colonial powers or private looters, and those removed through legitimate transactions. Regarding the latter category, the only way to bring the cultural property back home is by repurchase, lease, rent or donation by the owner. Obviously, all of these options are decisions to be made by the owner.

    The biggest problem is the first category of illegal removal. This usually involves forceful removal by colonial powers or illegal excavation by looters, followed by sale in the international black market. This category has been the subject of international discussions (the Lydian Hoard also falls under this category) and led to the adoption of relevant international conventions. They are the 1970 UNESCO Convention and 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.

  • 03 Oct 2010 10:40 AM | Anonymous

     Arizona archaeology sites under attack by vandals

    - Oct. 3, 2010 The Arizona Republic

    WILLIAMS - Somewhere out there, there's a modern Western explorer who decided he had something so important to say that it had to be slathered in silver paint on a remote rock wall full of ancient petroglyphs in the national forest.

    The mysterious etchings depicting people, animals and a blazing sun are in a box canyon known as Keyhole Sink in the Kaibab National Forest east of Williams, a mountain town off Interstate 40 that has welcomed sojourners since its namesake, fur trapper "Old Bill" Williams, explored the locale in the early to mid-1800s.

    The pristine rock art in Keyhole Sink was a silent reminder of the ancient culture that long flourished in northern Arizona, and it stood unaltered for at least 1,000 years. That all changed in August, when someone painted "ACE" on top of the petroglyphs in sloppy, dripping letters. Under the defacement is an indistinguishable glop of paint that could be more lettering.

  • 02 Oct 2010 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    Guilty plea in artifact sale

    By Carol Berry, Indian Country Today correspondent

    DENVER – A 66-year-old Grand Junction, Colo. man who sold an illegally obtained Native artifact uncovered in a federal “sting” operation pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in U.S. District Court Aug. 17.

    Robert B. Knowlton was indicted by a grand jury last year on four charges that carried a potential sentence of two years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000 on each count, with a separate 10-year sentence and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the artifacts’ interstate transport. That indictment was dismissed with his current guilty plea and a scheduled jury trial was canceled


  • 29 Sep 2010 3:03 PM | Anonymous

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

    On 19 July 2010, Argentina deposited with the Director-General its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

    The instrument contained the following declaration :


    La REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA opta por el procedimiento de transmisión de información previsto en el inciso ii) del apartado b) del párrafo 1 del artículo 9 de la Convención.

    La REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA considera que el Artículo 26, párrafo 2, apartado b) y el correlativo Artículo 1, párrafo 2, apartado b), no son de aplicación respecto de los territorios sujetos a una controversia de soberanía reconocida por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.

    La REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA recuerda que las Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur y los espacios marítimos circundantes son parte integrante de su territorio y estando ilegítimamente ocupados por el REINO UNIDO DE GRAN BRETAÑA E IRLANDA DEL NORTE son objeto de una disputa de soberanía reconocida por la comunidad internacional.

    En este sentido, la Asamblea General adoptó las Resoluciones 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 38/12, 39/6, 40/21, 41/40, 42/19 y 43/25 en las que reconoce la existencia de una disputa de soberanía referida a la “Cuestión de las Islas Malvinas” e insta a los Gobiernos de la REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA y del REINO UNIDO DE GRAN BRETAÑA E IRLANDA DEL NORTE a que reanuden las negociaciones a fin de encontrar a la mayor brevedad posible una solución pacífica, justa y duradera de la disputa. Asimismo, el Comité de Descolonización de las Naciones Unidas se ha pronunciado reiteradamente en igual sentido.” [Original: Spanish]

    In accordance with the terms of its Article 27, the aforementioned Convention will enter into force with respect to Argentina three months after the date of the deposit of this instrument, that is to say on 19 October 2010.

  • 29 Sep 2010 7:44 AM | Anonymous

    Getty traces ownership of Nazi-era looted art
    By Tom Tugend, September 28, 2010

    The Getty Research Institute (GRI) is in the process of combining old-fashioned detective work, modern technology and the scholarly tools of art history to help identify the rightful owners, mainly Jews, of paintings forcibly taken by the Hitler regime.

    In searching for evidence to determine provenances undefined ownership history undefinedof important artworks, GRI researchers and their colleagues in Germany are digging through a huge cache of art auction catalogs from the Nazi era.

    In a sense, our work is similar to genealogists tracking a family’s pedigree, which may go back as far as the Renaissance,” GRI director Thomas Gaehtgens said.

    The next, and key, step will be to digitize the information and categorize it in digital archives, which will be available to the general public, including potential heirs and their lawyers.



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