Cultural Heritage News

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  • 30 Oct 2014 1:07 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Libya heritage threatened by thieves and vandals

    TRIPOLI undefined Archaeologists and heritage experts have condemned a series of attacks on the country’s historical buildings and ruins which are increasingly suffering from vandalism and neglect.

    Libyan archaeologist Dr Fadl Al-Korana has warned that some of the country’s key archaeological sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, are being targeted by thieves and vandals.
  • 30 Oct 2014 1:05 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)


    Looters raid Jordanian crypts in search of gold, jewels and artifacts

    October 30 at 9:42
    AM The tomb-raiders no longer even wait for night to fall before they loot the ancient crypts.

    In recent weeks, grave-robbers here dug into 2,000-year-old tombs right in front of a house rented by archaeologists. Dozens of shallow pits now mark the spot. The field is littered with cracked, carved stones that once covered the dead.

    “They did this in broad daylight,” said Muaffaq Hazza, project archaeologist at Umm el-Jimal, known as the Gem of the Black Desert, one of the best-studied and protected archaeological projects in Jordan. “There is no shame.”

  • 29 Oct 2014 1:53 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    IU researchers awarded grant for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act training

    • Oct. 28, 2014


    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The National Science Foundation has awarded a $194,685 grant to Indiana University researchers to study the professional training that scholars receive related to understanding, appreciating and complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. 

  • 29 Oct 2014 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has passed resolutions that will place Venice on theWorld Heritage in Danger list if the Italian government does not actively protect what the committee describes as “an extraordinary architectural masterpiece.” As the Italian government considers how to handle massive cruise ships overrunning Venice, UNESCO has made is clear that oversize vessels should be banned from the lagoon in order to protect the port city and World Heritage SiteAccording to the Art Newspaper, UNESCO is opposed to any plan that would dramatically alter the land- and seascape surrounding the lagoon, and urges developers to carry out careful environmental impact assessments before beginning any large-scale projects.


  • 28 Oct 2014 11:36 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    How the West buys ‘conflict antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria (and funds terror)

    By Sam Hardy
    October 27, 2014
    “Many antique collectors unwillingly support terrorists like Islamic State, ” Michel van Rijn, one of the most successful smugglers of antique artifacts in the past century, told German broadcaster Das Erste this month
    And smuggling is booming in Iraq and Syria right now. In Iraq, 4,500 archaeological sites, some of them UNESCO World Heritage sites, are reportedly controlled by Islamic State and are exposed to looting. Iraqi intelligence claim that Islamic State alone has collected as much as $36 million from the sales of artifacts, some of them thousands of years old. The accounts data have not been released for verification but, whatever the exact number is, the sale of conflict antiquities to fund military and paramilitary activity is real and systematic.
  • 27 Oct 2014 1:46 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Opinion: How ISIS Funds Terror Through Black Market Antiquities Trade

    By: Brig. Gen. Russell D. Howard U.S. Army (retired), Jonathan Prohov and Marc Elliott
    Updated: October 27, 2014 11:17 AM

    As coalition airstrikes attempt to curb the expansion of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), the radical Islamist group is digging in militarily as it is simultaneously digging out priceless and irreplaceable historical antiquitiesundefinedin some cases with heavy earth-moving machineryundefinedwhich it sells on the black market to fund its Caliphate ambitions. By doing so, a significant amount of ISIS assets are out of reach from traditional counter terror finance measures.

    Illicit trafficking of all kinds affords ISIS a diverse income stream that many corporations would envy, and a good deal of attention has been paid to ISIS trafficking in humans, weapons, and commodities, such as oil. These illicit funding sources are more reliable and profitable than foreign donor money, and they make ISIS financially self-sufficient. However, although UNESCO recently confirmed that ISIS is trafficking in art and antiquities to finance its operations, the issue has received little attention in the press or in policy-making circles, despite tens of millions of dollars of revenue obtained through such activities

  • 27 Oct 2014 7:28 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Syrian Official Honored for Work Protecting Antiquities


  • 27 Oct 2014 7:22 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Odyssey Marine: Victory And Vindication

    Disclosure: The author is long OMEX. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More...)


    • Odyssey Marine granted right to salvage HMS Victory (Victory) by the UK’s Minister of Defence (MOD).
    • MOD represented the final significant obstacle to the Victory salvage operation.
    • Victory may hold over three-quarters of a billion dollars in artifact, ingot, and coin value.
    • OMEX receives 80% of coin value and 50% of artifact value from salvage (under terms of 2012 agreement).
    • Our base-case assumes a $270 million recovery with net profit of $170 million to OMEX.

  • 26 Oct 2014 4:05 PM | Anonymous

    Full of frustration that a 27- year-old U.S.-El Salvador Memorandum of Understanding to stop looting of antiquities isn’t working, the Association of Art Museum Directors recommended against renewal recently. Instead, the Association advocated the formation of a “licit” market in antiquities there. It would be taxed, and the proceeds would be “used to protect cultural sites and to encourage related employment by the local populations and the scientific exploration, storage and conservation of objects from those sites.”

  • 24 Oct 2014 1:08 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Germany attracts trade in looted artifacts

    Terrorist organizations like the 'Islamic State' make a fortune selling looted artifacts from local sites. German antiques dealers are involved, too, and experts say the country is in need of legal reform on the matter.

    The Palmyra oasis in the Syrian desert is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But after it was overrun and occupied by the terrorist militia "lslamic State" (IS), what was once a tourist magnet now resembles a moonscape.

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