• Hate Looting? Take This Opportunity to Support Restrictions on the Import of Undocumented Antiquities

    The cultural heritage of Greece, which spans thousands of years, from the Neolithic to the Byzantine era, is constantly under threat from looters. Why? To supply the illicit antiquities market. The United States remains a major market country for these materials. Recognizing this, the Hellenic Republic has requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US which would require documentation for cultural objects coming into the United States that may have been illegally exported from Greece. This request is a substantial step toward enabling the US Government to help stop the looting of archaeological sites and cultural monuments of Greece.

    SAFE has published an advocacy page to explain why everyone should support the MoU with Greece. Write a letter today to support the MoU. The deadline for online or faxed submission is 5pm Wednesday September 22nd.

    Photo: Journalists view two statues recovered from antiquities smugglers in southern Greece May 18, 2010 in Athens. Greek authorities say two farmers have been arrested for illicitly excavating the statues, which date between 550 and 520 B.C., and trying to sell them 10 million euros. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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  • Floods threaten Pakistan’s cultural heritage

    The monsoon rains sweeping across Pakistan have seriously destroyed archaeological sites, historical districts, monuments, museums, libraries, rock carvings, ancient tombs, mosques and shrines, according to news reports. While our main concern focuses on human life, we should not forget how floodwaters and landslides also ravage cultural heritage, the other human toll with long-lasting effects that can never be reversed.

    One of the many examples of this devastation is Mohenjodaro from the 3rd millennium B.C., the centre of Indus Valley civilization. Known as the oldest planned city in the world, most of the site has yet to be excavated and the information it holds remains undiscovered. Another site is Amrijo-daro (pre-Harappa), the site of a pre-Harappa fortified town which flourished from 3600 to 3300 BC.

    Photo: A portion of a wall that runs parallel to the main street in the five-thousand-year-old ruined city has crumbled after the recent rains. (Courtesy NetKarachi)

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  • Greece requests U.S. import restrictions on cultural material

    Greece has made a formal request for the U.S. to impose import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material (Neolithic through mid-eighteenth century) that comes from the Hellenic Republic.

    Despite their own efforts and enforcement of national law, Greek officials claim that “a considerable number of antiquities has been and continues to be smuggled out of Greek territory, causing serious jeopardy to the cultural heritage of the county.”

    The U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will hold meetings in Washington, D.C., next month to review the new request and will hold a public session on October 12 from 10:00am to 1:00pm.

    If you would like to make comments at the meeting or attend as a spectator, you must call the Cultural ...

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