Offering a unique insider’s view of museum collections, SAFE Tours examine the meaning of ancient objects in today’s modern world of collecting and cultural heritage preservation. Unlike any other museum tour, SAFE Tours ask questions. For instance, from what modern countries do ancient objects come? How did they get here? Who donated them or were they acquired by the museum? What was the expense? How is the money raised that funds the expense of purchasing antiquities? How do museums explain to the visitor the modern life of an object? What relationship do these objects have with those still in their source countries?
In asking these provocative questions, in the presence of the objects themselves, SAFE Tours tell the story of the foundation of great antiquities collections, the changing trends in museum acquisition policies and heritage law and the unexpected ways certain objects were acquired. SAFE Tours explore these questions in order to raise awareness about the vulnerability of our shared cultural heritage.
What makes SAFE Tours unique?
Most museum tours are lectures which examine objects from formal, art historical perspectives. SAFE Tours also focus on selected objects but the acquisition, collection, study and display of antiquities is also discussed. SAFE Tours are interactive, drawing participants into discussions and having them connect with one another around issues important to them. SAFE Tours provoke lively conversation and spirited discussions.
Who Gives SAFE Tours?
People in the know: journalists, archaeologists, museum specialists, art historians, people who have expert knowledge about different aspects of ancient objects. Our tour leaders have devoted themselves to ancient cultures and can speak to a range of issues about museum collections.
Who Attends SAFE Tours?
Anyone interested in archaeology, art history, ancient history, the history of museums, cultural heritage issues or law. Our audiences are a stimulating mix of students, professionals at all levels and the members of the public.
We customize tours to suit participants’ specific interests. Please check back for updated tour listings. Tours last approximately an hour-and-a-half and afford time for more casual discussions with tour leaders at the end, if desired. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This tour discusses the history of the exploration (and exploitation) of Egypt and how the looting throughout the 18th and 19th centuries created a market for Egyptian antiquities.(More)
- Senta German's tours present the injury to archaeological and historical research caused by looting.(More)
Roger Atwood's tour covers artifacts described in Stealing History including the Vicús treasures from northern Peru and the little known pieces from Batán Grande.
- An advocate and activist for Afghan heritage preservation, Nadia Tarzi gives a unique and informative tour of this collection of newly rediscovered artifacts.(More)
- A very special tour with one of the leading figures in the international movement to prevent the looting of archaeological sites.(More)
- Dr. Oscar Muscarella guides us through the Ancient Near Eastern Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and discusses how the objects got there.(More)
- Anthropologist and NYU professor, Haidy Geismar, talks about Pacific artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum and discusses how the tribal art market impacts local cultures.(More)
- The tour gave an in-depth view of the Oriental Institute Museum's collection of ancient Iraqi artifacts, renowned for its scope and quality, and also the legal, ethical, and scholarly way in which it was assembled.(More)