• Will sentencing continue to disregard Federal Guidelines in Four Corners cases?

    As sentencing awaits the three Utah residents recently found guilty of looting artifacts from federal and tribal lands, let’s take a moment to review the sentencing in the infamous 2009 case of the Redds. Receiving probation of three- and two- years and a fine of $2,000 and $300 respectively, Jeanne and Jericca Redd joined a number of other defendants who receive a mere slap on the wrist for their contribution to the destruction of cultural heritage and human remains.

    In response, SAFE sent a letter (see full text below) to Judge Waddoups expressing our disappointment that the sentencing guidelines were not appropriately followed. Most ...

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  • Efforts to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage: an update

    We are grateful for the following update from Abdulamir Hamdani, archaeologist and PhD student at Stony Brook University, formerly Superintendent of Archaeology and Director of the Museum in Nassiriya. On the eighth anniversary of the 2003 looting of the Iraq Museum, we are gratified to know that in spite of difficulties, courageous – and collaborative – efforts are being made to protect Iraq’s past:

    The Iraqi National Museum is partially open to the public. It opens for the media, VIPs, researchers, college students.

    The Museum’s lab still deals with preservation of damaged and broken artifacts, particularly, those which come from current excavations and stolen objects which have been restored from smugglers and looters.

    Department of documentation: In additional to its ordinary activities, the department works on scanning and digitizing all the archive and records of the ancient city of Ur as a part ...

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  • Returning archeological artifacts to local communities: the example of the Morgantina Aphrodite

    Aidone is a tranquil, rural town in central Sicily (Italy) that recently has become subject of the attention of international news, having checkmated – so to say – two of the most famous and powerful cultural institution in the world, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the unscrupulous collecting practice for which the obsession with “owning” an unique artifact overshadows due legal end ethical questions about provenance before the acquisition.

    Aidone and its Archaeological Museum are now home of the so much ...

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  • The Senator and a US No-Questions-Asked Antiquities Market

    .New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently supported a seminar organized to question the rationale behind part of the US International Cultural Property Protection Program. I found that disturbing and have written to her to ask why, and whether she supports this program and feels it should be strengthened or disabled. Members of SAFE – particularly those based in New York – might want to do the same.

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