Public support for Greece’s request

Greece’s request for US assistance to protect its cultural heritage was granted in on July 17, 2011 with the signing on a bilateral agreement. These statements taken from nearly 700 petition signatures SAFE gathered online via petitiononline.org:

If you allow one country to be looted, you are tacitly allowing it to occur everywhere with no punishment for the criminals who loot and the criminals who collect. Help Greece with this and you can help other countries as well. It is long past time to have stiff criminal penalties applied to thieves, traffickers, dealers, looters and collectors. Help Greece preserve its cultural heritage. —Demetria Nanos

By looting one destroys the archaeological value of the object, the context and our chance to know a bit more about the past. This is why it’s so important to adopt strict restrictions for traded antiquities! we need to protect what we call our common heritage! —Athanasia Kiousi

As co-director of a U.S. excavation in Greece, I witness all the time how looting destroys archaeological sites and our chance to learn from those sites. This MOU helps to protect our heritage. Please support it. —Aleydis Van de Moortel

The MoU is a most commendable initiative, and a great step forward in helping to preserve Greece’s cultural heritage. —Aristomenes Polyzois

Cultural antiquities are our collective human heritage and best seen in the context of their places of origin and not, as imperialism has done over the past couple of centuries, decapitated as trophies displayed in compartmentalized alien settings. Such greed is savage, stupid, and at the root of our planet’s recent traumas. —Dr. J. Stanley-Baker

As a descendant of Italian, Albanian and Armenian ancestors, I can appreciate the value of keeping one’s own ethnic and cultural tradition. It is what we are made of. As Hereclitus said, “A man’s character is his destiny”, so too is our culture a part of our future. —Skender Alexander Natiku

Protecting our antiquities is saving them for the benefit of all future generations! —Anagnostis Pan. Agelarakis

Although I am a member of the American Numismatic Association, I support the MOU. —Arnold G. Cohen

Please do something to stop the heritage of Greece being sold to the highest bidder and lost for future generations. —Graham Morrison

These artifacts are not a renewable resource. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. The context and setting is just as important as the items themselves, and the excavations destroy much valuable information in themselves. Artifacts with provenance have higher value than those without, so the agreement would assist in stimulating the economy. —Ian Hobson

I am the Director of the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices at the University of Illinois where I teach (among other courses) courses on Heritage Management and Museums. I strongly support this petition. —Helaine Silverman

The past is the key to the future — and we can’t understand the past using ancient evidence that has lost its context. —Lucia Nixon

I work on heritage interpretation projects. Illegal trade in antiquities reduces our ability to understand our heritage. —James Carter