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  • Iraq’s heritage: A global concern

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    SAFE has added Iraq to the “A Global Concern” page of its website. SAFE was founded in 2003 in response to the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. This overview of Iraq’s heritage and the threats it faces, therefore, adds an important layer of meaning to the mission and cause of SAFE.

    Heather Lee explores what is at stake for Iraq, how its cultural heritage is endangered, the market demand for its antiquities, what Iraq has done to protect its cultural heritage, what others have done to help, and SAFE’s support for the protection of Iraqi cultural heritage.

    Dr. Abdulamir al-Hamdani, Dr. Simone Mühl, Dr. Alexander Nagel, Maria Sager, and Dr. Diane Siebrandt are advisors who supervised and edited the pages.

    “A Global Concern: Iraq” will be updated in the future to reflect current issues of cultural heritage protection in Iraq.

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  • What do you think: “Gleaming in the Dust” by George Richards and Tristan Summerscale

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    Following up with the previous blog post, “What do you think?”, this blog post introduces another cultural heritage protection project that reached out to SAFE for suggestions and advice.

    George Richards and Tristan Summerscale from London, England, have recently published an audio documentary titled, “Gleaming in the Dust.” It focuses on exposing the deep-rooted problems of illicit antiquities trade and looting of Egyptian archaeological sites. Through interviews with archaeologists (including Dr. Monica Hanna), the Egyptian government, the British Museum, and many other experts, Richards and Summerscale hope to raise public awareness on Egyptian cultural heritage protection. You can view the documentary here, and learn more about the documentary project at gleaminginthedust.com.

    Join the conversation of raising awareness by either adding your own projects and ideas with SAFE or discussing the ideas in the forum provided: Post your project ideas to our SAFECONNECT and Facebook group, which we created for members of our community to share their work. While SAFE is not able to endorse all submissions, we are delighted to provide the public forum.

     

    Featured image: Square Bracket featured image for the audio documentary at https://soundcloud.com/square-bracket-production/gleaming-in-the-dust-the-looting-of-egypts-ancient-heritage.

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  • New legislation introduced to protect international cultural property

    H.R.5703

    SAFE applauds the introduction of a new legislation aiming to improve the efficiency of the U.S. federal efforts to protect international cultural property. On November 13, Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and Christ Smith (R-NJ) proposed the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (H.R. 5703) in response to the terrible state of affairs brought by ISIL/ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

    The legislation aims to appoint a White House Coordinator for International Cultural Property Protection, a position that will be responsible for amassing all the federal efforts to address cultural heritage protection issues by coordinating diplomatic, military, and law enforcement efforts.

    Representative Smith said, “Our global cultural patrimony has all too often been targeted by extremists who want to wipe out the collective memories of ethnic and religious minorities from lands they seek to control and conquer . . . The fight to preserve our common cultural heritage, as well as to deny extremists such as ISIL resources from the sale of blood antiquities, is yet another front on the global war against terror.”

    The legislation is admirable for its attempt to encompass all the major countries suffering from cultural heritage destruction. Section 3, Findings and Statement of Policy, lists major Middle Eastern countries (Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan), as well as Mali, Cambodia, China, and Haiti. It also proposes federal agencies to liaise with the Smithsonian Institution, which has been an integral part of the protection efforts in the Middle East, as SAFE previously reported here.

    But those who have followed the legislative efforts for cultural heritage protection might remember what happened a little more than a decade ago. In 2003, the Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act (H.R. 3497/H.R.2009) ended up not being enacted and replaced by a lesser resolution.

    So the question for H.R.5703 is, will this bill see a swifter resolution?

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  • What do you think: “Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu” by Joy Lynn Davis

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    Following up with the previous blog post, “What do you think?”, this blog post introduces another cultural heritage protection project that reached out to SAFE for suggestions and advice.

    Joy Lynn Davis leads a public-awareness and art production project, “Remembering the Lost Sculptures of Kathmandu.” It started in 2010 as a response to the illicit smuggling of sacred stone sculptures in Nepal. She has created paintings with 23 karat gold that emphasize the absence of the stolen sculptures

    She has organized community outreach activities and an exhibition, which was sponsored by UNESCO. To learn more about Davis’ projects, visit http://rememberingthelost.com/.

    Join the conversation of raising awareness by either adding your own projects and ideas with SAFE or discussing the ideas in the forum provided: Post your project ideas to our SAFECONNECT and Facebook group, which we created for members of our community to share their work. While SAFE is not able to endorse all submissions, we are delighted to provide the public forum.

     

    Featured Image: Joy Lynn Davis. 15th Century Lakshmi Narayan, Patan, Nepal. Acrylic with 23 kt. gold on cotton rag paper, 40 x 30”, 2013. http://rememberingthelost.com/paintings/

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  • Help SAFE serve you better

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    SAFE is working on a planning initiative to better the organization and help achieve its mission. We have designed a survey to measure readers’ opinions of SAFE and its programs, mission, strengths, and weaknesses. We would appreciate if you could take a couple minutes of your time to participate in this survey. Please follow the instructions, and where appropriate, add in your comments. Thank you for your time.

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