Saving Antiquities for Everyone

Saving Antiquities for Everyone SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving cultural h We do not represent or advocate for any particular profession, or academic discipline.

We call for open discussions that examine practices and behavior that destroy cultural heritage. We have no "special interest" at stake except for the future of our past. We are scholars, professionals, educators, students, and others from around the world, who share our mission and vision. We invite you to join us. It doesn't matter where you are or what you do. Our collective cultural heritage is endangered—it is a problem for us all. Join our NEW Cultural Heritage Network at http://safeconnect.org/

While you're here, introduce yourself & tell us how you got involved with SAFE! Also:

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Operating as usual

"Saving Antiquities for Everyone firmly condemns these threats and any intentional targeting of cultural heritage sites ...
01/09/2020
SAFE Condemns Threats to Iran’s Cultural Heritage

"Saving Antiquities for Everyone firmly condemns these threats and any intentional targeting of cultural heritage sites in Iran.

The impact of devastated cultural heritage goes well beyond the loss of history and context of the site itself. Purposefully targeting and destroying cultural heritage sites during times of conflict is directly linked to the financing of terrorist organizations, most recently ISIS, across the Middle East and North Africa through antiquities trafficking."

On January 4th, 2020, U.S. President Trump declared on Twitter that if Iran threatens to retaliate after the killing of Qasem Soleimani, he has already selected 52 Iranian cultural heritage sites for military targeting. This…

"It has now been discovered that the mask was brought to France after the Second World War by the world-renowned anthrop...
08/10/2019
Almost 100 years after being seized and sold, a Kwakwaka’wakw sun mask returns to B.C.

"It has now been discovered that the mask was brought to France after the Second World War by the world-renowned anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and sold at auction in 1951 to collector Pierre Vérité. His son, Claude Vérité, inherited it and offered the mask at Christie’s, according to another collector, Pierre Amrouche. Mr. Amrouche, who lives in Paris and Togo, says Claude gave it to him in 2017, after which he kept it in his Paris living room."

http://ow.ly/F2Gt50vtC6H

The mask was seized during an infamous raid on a potlatch in remote B.C., then improperly sold. It remained in France for decades before Canadian dealer Donald Ellis orchestrated its return to the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay

"Involving a foreign museum and no direct claimant, the Beothuk repatriation is a particularly twisting example of the w...
08/10/2019
‘Bring them home and put them to rest’: How museums are working with Indigenous communities to repatriate human remains

"Involving a foreign museum and no direct claimant, the Beothuk repatriation is a particularly twisting example of the work required if Indigenous people, museums and governments are to undo the decades of colonial treasure hunting and voracious archeological digging that deposited human bones in institutions across Canada and abroad. From Victorian collectors who considered a skull an exotic bibelot to 20th-century archeologists who uncovered the evidence of human habitation in North America dating back thousands of years, there is nothing new about gathering up old bones. What is new, however, is that museums and universities have changed their attitudes and no longer want to keep the hoard."

http://ow.ly/zeEg50vtC3H

It’s a long, slow process to return the bones and skulls once collected by museums around the world back to the places in Canada where they were found, rife with issues ranging from who covers the cost to finding burial sites

"Antiquities plundering and trafficking also remains a problem, said Heyam al-Bitar, an archaeologist with Gaza’s minist...
08/07/2019

"Antiquities plundering and trafficking also remains a problem, said Heyam al-Bitar, an archaeologist with Gaza’s ministry of tourism and antiquities. She said the ministry only learned earlier this year that dozens of ancient Greek silver coins were smuggled out of Gaza in 2016."

http://ow.ly/5lWO50vr3n9

"The artifacts on display Monday at the foreign ministry in Baghdad include archaeological and historical items, such as...
08/02/2019
Iraq displays stolen artifacts recovered from UK, Sweden - www.israelhayom.com

"The artifacts on display Monday at the foreign ministry in Baghdad include archaeological and historical items, such as pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back at least 4,000 years to the ancient Sumerian civilization."

http://ow.ly/i8Qx50vlMA0

Iraqi officials are displaying stolen artifacts from the country's rich cultural heritage that were recently recovered from Britain and Sweden. Many archaeological treasures from Iraq, home of the ancient "fertile crescent" considered the cradle of civilization, were looted during the chaos that fol...

"Looted ancient objects represent an irreplaceable loss of knowledge. When these artifacts are harvested purely for thei...
07/31/2019
Rampant Antiquities Theft Threatens Cultural Heritage Around The World

"Looted ancient objects represent an irreplaceable loss of knowledge. When these artifacts are harvested purely for their financial value, no attention is paid to where they were found, what they might have been found with, or the ephemeral traces of how those objects were used. Archaeology is a notoriously slow discipline because excavators vigilantly record every possible scrap of information to illuminate the original purpose of an object. Without that contextual data, an ancient coin or ceramic vessel is reduced to a pretty object sitting on a shelf rather than the rich source of information that it could be."

http://ow.ly/z5KF50viA8q

Operation Pandora III resulted in the arrest of 59 individuals and the recovery of more than 18,000 cultural objects, including Greek and Roman coins, a 15th-century Bible, and a Mesopotamian crystal cylinder seal.

"“A total of 61 ancient coins and relics were recovered from two antique dealers while they were making a bargain,” a lo...
07/29/2019
Ancient coins, antiquities seized in southwest Iran

"“A total of 61 ancient coins and relics were recovered from two antique dealers while they were making a bargain,” a local tourism official said, IRIB reported on Sunday."

http://ow.ly/P9NU50vfudk

TEHRAN - Iranian authorities have recently confiscated tens of historical coins and relics from two suspects in Ramshir, southwestern Khuzestan province.

"Romanian police seized 128 pieces of ancient Roman military equipment, 134 pieces of antique ceramics and 189 coins sto...
07/29/2019
Romania Seizes Hundreds of Stolen Greek, Roman, Treasures | Balkan Insight

"Romanian police seized 128 pieces of ancient Roman military equipment, 134 pieces of antique ceramics and 189 coins stolen from archeological sites as part of a joint operation conducted last autumn involving 29 countries, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, announced on Monday."

http://ow.ly/txxr50vfc3l

Romanian authorities recovered hundreds of looted Greek and Roman artifacts as part of a major international operation cracking down on trafficking in cultural goods – whose results Europol unveiled on Monday.

"Archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis alerted Interpol and other police authorities after producing evidence linking the ...
07/22/2019
Bonhams withdraw ancient Greek drinking vessel from sale amid accusations it was excavated illegally

"Archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis alerted Interpol and other police authorities after producing evidence linking the Bonhams antiquity to convicted traffickers in stolen artefacts. He described the case as yet another example of auction-houses worldwide not taking “basic steps” in tracing an artefact’s history."
http://ow.ly/FLdE50v83mO

Bonhams has withdrawn an ancient Greek drinking vessel from sale amid accusations that it was excavated illegally and that major auction-houses are failing to make adequate checks into whether antiquities were looted from their country of origin.

"The Salzburg Museum plans to return to Russia five grave reliefs and three amphorae shipped home during the Second Worl...
07/18/2019
Austria promises to return ancient artefacts to Russia that were taken as war trophies

"The Salzburg Museum plans to return to Russia five grave reliefs and three amphorae shipped home during the Second World War by an Austrian army officer who took them as trophies from a war-damaged museum in the port of Temryuk on the Sea of Azov near the northeastern coast of the Black Sea.

http://ow.ly/ISP450v53yw

An Austrian army officer took the 2,000-year-old objects from a war-damaged museum in the port of Temryuk at the end of the Second World War

"In a sweeping new criminal case, Subhash Kapoor, a former Manhattan art dealer the authorities describe as one of the w...
07/11/2019
Investigators Say a Ring Smuggled $145 Million in Ancient Artifacts

"In a sweeping new criminal case, Subhash Kapoor, a former Manhattan art dealer the authorities describe as one of the world’s largest smugglers of antiquities, was charged Monday with running a multinational ring that trafficked in thousands of stolen objects, valued at more than $145 million, over 30 years."

http://ow.ly/iK3l50uYDGG

It focused on treasures from six separate countries, and was led by Subhash Kapoor, one of the world’s largest antiquities smugglers, a criminal complaint says.

"The 2019 list includes natural sites, such as Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland; cultural sites, such as the histori...
07/10/2019
UNESCO names 29 new World Heritage sites for 2019

"The 2019 list includes natural sites, such as Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland; cultural sites, such as the historic city of Sheki in Azerbaijan and the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu City in southeast China."

http://ow.ly/a8nT50uXQXO

This newest World Heritage List includes sites of cultural importance, such as architect Frank Lloyd Wright's work, and natural wonders, such as Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland.

"Officers at the customs office of Kipoi (on the border with Turkey) confiscated 1,055 ancient Greek coins from a Turkis...
07/10/2019
Turkish Citizen Arrested for Smuggling Hundreds of Ancient Greek Coins | GreekReporter.com

"Officers at the customs office of Kipoi (on the border with Turkey) confiscated 1,055 ancient Greek coins from a Turkish national on Tuesday, after a search was carried out when the suspect was entering the country from Turkey."

http://ow.ly/lOE550uXQVK

Employees at the customs office of Kipoi (on the border with Turkey) confiscated 1.055 ancient Greek coins from a Turkish national, after a search was carried out when the suspect was entering the country from Turkey.

"Egypt is taking legal action over the sale of a 3,000-year-old quartzite statue of King Tutankhamen that sold at Christ...
07/10/2019
Egypt Will Sue Christie's Over the $6 Million Sale of a King Tut Sculpture Officials Claim Was Looted From a Temple | artnet News

"Egypt is taking legal action over the sale of a 3,000-year-old quartzite statue of King Tutankhamen that sold at Christie’s in London last week for £4.75 million ($5.96 million). The country has announced plans to file a civil suit seeking the repatriation of the antiquity, which it believes was looted from the Karnak Temple in the 1970s.

http://ow.ly/vx4f50uXFcb

Egypt is going to sue Christie's London for the return of a 3,000-year-old King Tut sculpture that recently sold at auction for $6 million.

"The 85 artifacts are mostly small bronze items and include statues of Buddha and the Hindu god Shiva, plus jars, cerami...
07/08/2019
Japanese collector returns ancient artifacts to Cambodia

"The 85 artifacts are mostly small bronze items and include statues of Buddha and the Hindu god Shiva, plus jars, ceramics and jewelry. Cambodia's Culture Ministry says some items were older than the Angkor era, which began about 800 A.D. Others date from the Angkor era or just after it ended in the late 14th century."

http://ow.ly/qdGk50uVxmt

Millennium-old Cambodian artifacts displayed in a Japanese collector's home for two decades have been returned to the Southeast Asian country's National Museum. The 85 artifacts are mostly small bronze items and include statues of Buddha and the Hindu god Shiva, plus jars, ceramics and jewelry. Camb...

"From 20 to 23 May 2019, UNESCO hosted two major meetings related to the fight against trafficking of cultural property ...
07/05/2019
UNESCO: Countries share good practices to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property - Asia-Europe Museum Network

"From 20 to 23 May 2019, UNESCO hosted two major meetings related to the fight against trafficking of cultural property and the restitution of stolen artefacts: the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, and the Seventh Session of the Subsidiary Committee, of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970)."

http://ow.ly/zDZc50uSNaW

Last May, UNESCO hosted two meetings in Paris to discuss challenges and foster cooperation against the illicit trafficking of cultural property

"France returned more than 400 stolen artifacts to the government of Pakistan on Tuesday, including ancient busts, vases...
07/04/2019
France returns stolen ancient artifacts to Pakistan

"France returned more than 400 stolen artifacts to the government of Pakistan on Tuesday, including ancient busts, vases, urns and goblets, some dating to the second and third millennia B.C."

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/france-returns-stolen-ancient-artifacts-to-pakistan

PARIS — France returned more than 400 stolen artifacts to the government of Pakistan on Tuesday, including ancient busts, vases, urns and goblets, some dating to the second and third millenni…

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found stolen Egyptian artifacts on their way to an American home.The linens...
06/27/2019
Stolen Egyptian artifacts seized at Canada-U.S. border

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found stolen Egyptian artifacts on their way to an American home.

The linens were found in glass jars in a Canadian mail carrier truck at the border between Sarnia and Michigan.

http://ow.ly/xi5u50uOFb4

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found stolen Egyptian artifacts on their way to an American home. The linens were found in glass jars in a Canadi

"The looting of archaeological sites is a longstanding problem in Tunisia, said Yasser Jrad, head of the seized objects ...
06/19/2019
Tunisians struggle to prevent archaeological looting

"The looting of archaeological sites is a longstanding problem in Tunisia, said Yasser Jrad, head of the seized objects department at the National Heritage Institute.

Objects of significant historical and cultural value often end up on the European market and in the homes of Tunisia's rich and powerful, he explained.

The issue was brought into the spotlight in 2011 when Tunisia's ousted autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, currently exiled in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in the first of several trials for a range of crimes, including possession of archaeological artefacts.

In 2017, the Tunisian authorities seized a rare 15th-century Torah scroll they thought was being smuggled to Europe.

More recently, in March customs seized 600 antique coins dating from the 2nd century from a car in the coastal town of Sfax."

http://ow.ly/6ima50uIc8x

Historical and cultural artefacts often end up on the European market or in the homes of Tunisia's wealthy

"An ancient tower dating back 2,000 years in the historic Afghan city of Ghazni collapsed this week, local officials sai...
06/16/2019
Ancient Afghan citadel collapses, cultural heritage sites at risk

"An ancient tower dating back 2,000 years in the historic Afghan city of Ghazni collapsed this week, local officials said, raising concerns about the vulnerability of the country's cultural heritage and the government's ability to protect them.

The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years due to decades of war, heavy rain and neglect."

http://ow.ly/ybEW50uFkVL

An ancient tower dating back 2,000 years in the historic Afghan city of Ghazni collapsed this week, local officials said, raising concerns about the vulnerability of the country's cultural heritage and the government's ability to protect them. The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites

"Within the scope of the fight against cultural property smuggling, Bulgaria returned to Turkey 56 coins and drachmas, a...
06/14/2019
Bulgaria returns smuggled historical artifacts to Turkey

"Within the scope of the fight against cultural property smuggling, Bulgaria returned to Turkey 56 coins and drachmas, along with six bronze sconces and a bronze fibula from various periods, with a ceremony on June 14 at the Sofia Archaeology Museum. The artifacts were seized in 2016."
http://ow.ly/DhbU50uEenm

Bulgaria returns smuggled historical artifacts to Turkey

"The 63-year-old suspect, is accused of having hidden ancient Chinese celadon and other treasures retrieved in the 1980s...
06/13/2019
Man accused of hiding treasures from 14th-century shipwreck

"The 63-year-old suspect, is accused of having hidden ancient Chinese celadon and other treasures retrieved in the 1980s from the Sinan underwater relics burial site in waters off South Jeolla Province in violation of the Act on Protection and Inspection of Buried Cultural Heritage, police said."
http://ow.ly/CnyD50uDl1Y

A man in his 60s has been arrested on suspicion of possessing ancient pottery that is believed to have been taken illegally from an underwater resting place off the southwestern coast of South Korea, police said Thursday.The 63-year-old suspect, whose name was withheld, is accused of having hidden a...

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Comments

In the U.S., are NPS, BLM, FS and FWS law enforcement rangers regarded as essential personnel, or are they at home while the diggers and defilers play?
My two cents on the Met's antiquities galleries, with a shoutout to SAFE!
Our planet’s cultural heritage is a precious resource. The burning of a museum or the loss of indigenous artwork or bones are devastating. The volunteers are SAFE follow those stories so that they can bring them to you. This #GivingTuesday consider supporting them:
This #GivingTuesday, I hope you'll consider SAFE - Saving Antiquities for Everyone. This team has testified at the State Department to tighten imports. They collect global news stories so you can stay informed. And next year, they'll announce a partnership to raise more awareness for cultural heritage. It couldn't happen without your support. Consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
Outraged about Hobby Lobby's latest efforts to buy and import archaeological artifacts for DC's new Bible museum? Protecting cultural heritage takes a team. Educate. Share. Stay informed. Most important of all, keep the pressure on by helping SAFE — a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preserving antiquity for everyone, not just those with ideological interests in repackaging or destroying the past. Every little bit helps the global community work together in this important fight.