SAFE Beacon Awards Gala Honoring Peter Watson & Cecilia Todeschini, Matthew Bogdanos and Roger Atwood

Thursday November 16, 2006, 6:00PM – 10:00PM
6-7:30 pm Lecture with Peter Watson Chelsea Art Museum

556 West 22nd Street (at 11th Avenue)

8-10 pm Awards Ceremony with Buffet Dinner
380 West 12th Street PH 8B (between Washington Street and the West Side Highway)
New York, New York




With freshly-signed copies of The Medici Conspiracy from the Peter Watson lecture under their arms, SAFE supporters filled Alan Sokol and Marina Papa-Sokal’s West Village penthouse apartment for our first Beacon Awards Gala. Gathering for a glass of wine and stimulating conversation with old friends and a scrumptious buffet dinner prepared by chef Stephen Javaras, SAFE President Cindy Ho presented Beacon Awards to:

Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini for “The Medici Conspiracy“: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities—From Italy’s Tomb Raiders to the World’s Greatest Museums” (2006)

Matthew Bogdanos for “Thieves of Baghdad”: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures” (2005)

Roger Atwood for “Stealing History”: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World” (2004)

Through the distinctive voice of its author(s), with different geographic emphasis and thematic approach, each book offers the general public insight into the complexities of the international black market trade of antiquities in an unprecedented way. Most importantly, the books recommend measures for curbing the international trade in illicit antiquities and details ethical collecting practices that all institutions and individuals should adopt.

At the Gala, we were treated to a few illuminating remarks by the Award Winners. We were also gratified by our guests’ generous donations, which were matched by SAFE Vice President Rick St. Hilaire, making this an even more successful fundraiser than we’d hoped.

Although the evening’s success owes much to the efforts of our volunteers and the distinguished Beacon winners who were kind enough to attend, to the largest measure of thanks go to the attendees themselves. Your charm sparkling intellect, charm and generosity made the first Beacon Awards Gala an event to remember. Thanks to everyone involved… we hope to see you at the next SAFE event.

SAFE’s newly established Beacon Awards recognize individuals who enlighten the public about the devastating effects of looting and the illicit antiquities trade.

“I had the best time... Fascinating crowd, diplomats and lawyers and writers, and all very friendly...What a lovely success...Really fantastic...”

Gala guests