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

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  • 08 Apr 2010 1:03 PM | Anonymous

    Feds load up more artifacts in Blanding
    Crime » Four defendants give up their collections; plea hearings set.
    By Patty Henetz

    The Salt Lake Tribune

    Updated: 04/07/2010 05:57:44 PM MDT

    Federal agents, curators and archaeologists went to Blanding on Wednesday to collect relics surrendered by four defendants indicted last summer after a 2 1/2-year investigation into illegal artifacts-trafficking across the Four Corners region.

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah said Dale Lyman, Ray Lyman, Nick Laws and Aubry Patterson, all Blanding residents facing multiple felony charges, gave up their collections after talking with their lawyers.

    All were arrested June 10 in a coordinated raid that netted 24 defendants. Two others were charged later. Laws, Patterson and Dale Lyman are scheduled for plea-change hearings April 23 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba in Moab.  

  • 08 Apr 2010 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    British Museum under pressure to give up leading treasures

    The British museum is to come under renewed pressure to give up leading treasures as 16 countries plan to sign a declaration that demands the return of artefacts sent overseas generations ago.
    by Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
    Published: 7:39PM BST 07 Apr 2010

    The Rosetta Stone at the British museum in London Photo: AP The demand, issued in Cairo at the end of a two-day conference, is addressed to every country that holds ancient relics.

    Western museum hold most of the items listed by countries ranging from China to Mexico. The British museum is the principal target because of the prominence of the artefacts it owns.

    The conference was hosted by Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, who has been an outspoken campaigner for the return of lost treasures.

  • 07 Apr 2010 2:10 PM | Anonymous

    FBI Returns Paintings to Peru
    FBI Press Release April 7, 2010

    Today the FBI returned to the government of Peru two Colonial paintings that were recovered by the FBI Art Crime Team. FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins, Criminal Investigative Division, presented the artifacts to Ambassador Luis Miguel Valdivieso at a ceremony at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C.

    “We are pleased to be able to return these paintings to the government of Peru,” said Assistant Director Perkins. “Unfortunately, Peru suffers from depredations caused by thieves and looters and these stolen and looted objects regularly are brought into the U.S. for sale or display. This deprives the Peruvian people of their religious and cultural heritage and corrupts the legitimate market for works of art.”

  • 07 Apr 2010 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Egypt Leads Multinational Call to Bring Disputed Relics Home
    April 07, 2010, 6:52 AM EDT

    April 7 (Bloomberg) -- A two-day conference on bringing back ancient relics to their home countries opened today with Egypt’s chief archeologist appealing for affected nations to unite to pressure Western museums to send them back.

    “We need to cooperate,” Zahi Hawass, who heads the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told delegates from 15 other countries. “We need to fight together.” The delegates should produce one list of artifacts that should return home, he said

  • 07 Apr 2010 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    ICE returns 1,400-year-old pre-Colombian skulls to Peruvian government
    ICE Press Release April 7, 2010

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 12 pre-Columbian human skulls to Peruvian Ambassador Luis Miguel Baldivieso Montano in a ceremony at the Embassy of Peru. These ancient skulls were verified using carbon dating and determined to be pre-Columbian human skulls dating from 640-890 AD.

    "This repatriation continues a long tradition between our countries of locating, investigating and returning items that are part of the history of Peru." said Gina Holland, acting deputy assistant director of the ICE Office of International Affairs. "These are irreplaceable and not souvenirs to be sold to the highest bidder. These are priceless pieces of a culture and clues to a region's traditions and history."

  • 06 Apr 2010 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    Egypt hosts stolen artefact meet
    2010-04-06 22:51
    Ines Bel Aiba
    Cairo - Antiquities officials from around the world gather in Cairo on Wednesday to map out a strategy to recover ancient loot they say has been pillaged from their countries and displayed abroad

  • 06 Apr 2010 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    German Museum Loses Attempt to Reclaim Artifact From Estate

    New York Law Journal

    April 06, 2010

    An ancient gold tablet excavated in Iraq from the site of an ancient Assyrian temple by German archaeologists in 1913

    An ancient gold tablet excavated in Iraq from the site of an ancient Assyrian temple by German archaeologists in 1913

    An ancient gold tablet unearthed in a 1913 dig in modern-day Iraq that mysteriously ended up in the possession of a Holocaust survivor will remain in his estate, a surrogate has ruled, rather than be returned to a German museum.

    In a ruling that reads like a script for an Indiana Jones movie, Nassau County, N.Y., Surrogate John B. Riordan (See Profile) held that the Berlin museum, where the tablet had been kept for 19 years before its sudden disappearance at the end of World War II, could not stake a claim to the artifact as it had not acted promptly to recover it.

    "The court finds that the museum's lack of due diligence was unreasonable," Surrogate Riordan wrote in Matter of Flamenbaum, File No. 328416, in holding that the museum's claim was barred by the doctrine of laches.

  • 04 Apr 2010 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Turf war may have ruined Gardner heist lead
    Ex-agent says FBI was on right trail

    By Stephen Kurkjian
    Globe Correspondent / April 4, 2010
    The FBI was on the trail of recovering the principal masterpieces stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum from a criminal gang in Corsica two years ago only to have its efforts dashed, in part because of bureaucratic infighting among federal agents and supervisors.

    That is the conclusion of a nonfiction book written by a now-retired FBI special agent who posed undercover in 2006 and 2007 as a wealthy art collector interested in purchasing several of the paintings through two Frenchmen who had alleged ties to the Corsican mobsters. The French intermediaries said they could deliver the stolen Vermeer, valued at more than $100 million, and at least one of the two large Rembrandts that were taken. They were among the 13 pieces, now valued at $500 million, stolen in what is considered the largest art theft in history.

  • 03 Apr 2010 6:09 PM | Anonymous

    Return of rare native shirts is stirring memories and emotions
     By Nancy Tousley, Calgary HeraldApril 3, 2010 

    Kaahsinnooniksi Ao'toksisawooyawa, Our ancestors have come to visit: Reconnections with historic Blackfoot shirts, an exhibition of five Blackfoot shirts, is on view at the Glenbow Museum, through May 16.

    When two reporters and a TV cameraman walked into the conservation lab at the Glenbow Museum the other morning, Laura Peers asked them to stand back while she pulled a white cloth over a nearly 200-year-old sacred Blackfoot shirt, laid out on a large table.

    This is a gesture of respect, said Peers, a Canadian who is curator of the American Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University. It seemed intended not only for the sacred shirt but also for the dozen elders from the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, Mont., who were looking at the shirts, touching them gently and talking quietly when we arrived.

    Read more:

  • 03 Apr 2010 6:04 PM | Anonymous

    Historic advisory council says no to Cape Wind

    With a decision on what would be the first US offshore wind project due this month, a key advisory council has recommended US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not approve the Cape Wind project because it would cause “pervasive, destructive, and in the instance of seabed construction, permanent” effects on historic properties.

    Nantucket Sound has been proposed for listing in the National Register of Historic Places for its significance to the tribes and early American history and industry. The ACHP describes the area as “a rich and unique tapestry of American prehistory, history, and culture”.

    On Friday, the ACHP issued findings that “[t]he Project will adversely affect 34 historic properties including 16 historic districts and 12 individually significant historic properties on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island, and six properties of religious and cultural significance to tribes, including Nantucket Sound itself. These districts and standing structures reflect the broad array of properties that represent the rich and unique architectural, social, and cultural history of Cape Cod and the Islands.”


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