• Statement of Concern and Appeal for International Cooperation to Save Ancient Kashgar

    THROUGH COORDINATED ACTION AND MEASURED DIALOG, THE UNDERSIGNED BELIEVE THAT WE CAN SAVE ONE OF THE JEWELS OF THE SILK ROAD BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    July 6, 2009 Mr. Francesco Bandarin Director UNESCO World Heritage Centre 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris, France

    Dear Mr. Bandarin:

    We write to convey our profound concern for the ancient city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Northwest China and urge you to exert your influence to have the city included in the Chinese portion of the Silk Road being considered for the World Heritage List.

    Reportedly, 85% of the ancient portion of the city is under demolition. The stated reason is that the old buildings are susceptible to earthquakes and pose a danger to residents. Though we support taking measures to ensure the safety of citizens, we are concerned that the demolition of Old Kashgar will deal a serious blow to the cultural heritage and archaeological patrimony of the Uyghur people, China, ...

    (MORE ...)
    5 Comments
  • Your Opinion about Antiquities

    Greetings! I am a New York University Graduate student in the Program in Museum Studies requesting your participation in a unique survey conducted as research for my Master’s thesis. The survey should take less than 15 minutes and is completely anonymous. Your participation could affect the understanding of public perceptions of museum collecting practices and the display of antiquities. Are you aware of the issues or hold museums accountable for their acquisition policies?

    Please take your time to answer each question honestly and thoughtfully. The following link will take you to the survey, “Informing Audiences: Public Perceptions of Illicit Antiquities.”The results will be posted on my NYU web blog or possibly published as an article at a later date.

    If you have any questions or would like to know more, please feel free to e-mail Cherkea_Howery@yahoo.com

    Thank you for your participation and remember your opinion matters!

    Sincerely,Cherkea Howery, NYU Museum Studies

    (MORE ...)
    0 Comments
  • The Curious Case of a Gold Vessel from Ur

    Last Wednesday, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung carried a story entitled “Deutsch-irkaischer Archäologenkrimi / Aus Ur oder aus Troja? Ein Goldgefäß macht derzeit den Behörden Probleme. Es soll von Raubgrabungen aus dem Irak stammen. Bagdad hat Strafanzeige gegen einen deutschen Händler gestellt” (by D. Gerlach, 29.6.2009, pp. 1,3) about a gold vessel looted from Ur that was offered by a German auction house. A slightly more condensed article in English also summarizes the story (“Mesopotamian Vase Sheds Light on Germany’s Artefacts Trade,” Deutsche Welle, 30.6.2009).

    The vase was first spotted for sale in 2005 at the German ancient coin auction house Hirsch Nachfolger, when it was then seized by authorities and handed over to Michael Müller-Karpe at the Römisch-Germanische Zentralmuseum in Mainz for an expert opinion. Müller-Karpe, an archaeologist who works on material from the region and a specialist in metalwork, concluded that it was likely looted from the royal cemetery at Ur where many similar vessels have been found. Looting in Iraq has dramatically increased since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
    Customs officials have now asked Müller-Karpe to return the vase to them, but has refused stating that the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin has asked him not to return it to customs. Iraqi officials have warned that anyone who helps or participates in the sale would be liable to up to five years imprisonment in Iraq. Münzhandlung Hirsch Nachfolger claims the vessel comes from Troy.
    (Photo from Deutsche Welle)
    (MORE ...)
    0 Comments