Browsing All Posts filed under »Middle East«

Hit ‘Em Where it Hurts: Trend of Increased Penalties for Antiquities Smuggling Continues

November 13, 2013

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Azerbaijan has increased their protection of cultural property by way of increased penalties for illegal exporting of protected cultural materials. Azernews explains: According to the changes, illegal export of Azerbaijani cultural heritage samples included in the list of cultural values will be punishable by a fine worth 1,500 manats for individuals, 3,000 manats for officials […]

Emergency “Red List” of Endangered Syrian Artifacts Released, Includes Sculptures, Coins

September 26, 2013

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ICOM (International Council of Museums) officials worked remotely to create a “Red List” of artifacts endangered by the current conflict in Syria. This Red List will be disseminated to law enforcement agencies, museums, and artifact dealers worldwide, in an attempt to prevent their illicit trade and/or destruction. The Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at […]

Shocking Pics of Looting in Syria

July 31, 2013

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Today in Really Sad Looting Stories, Bloomberg reports: When the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad began two years ago, satellite images showed the ruins of the ancient Hellenic city of Apamea surrounded by green farmland. A year later, photos reveal a moonscape blighted by hundreds upon hundreds of holes. Looters in bulldozers armed with […]

Ancient Buddhist Site in Afghanistan Slated for Destruction

September 7, 2012

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A dozen archaeologists and 100 Afghan laborers are racing against time to salvage as much archaeological material as possible before December at Mes Aynak, Afghanistan. Filmmaker Brent Huffman has reported that right below the extensive monasteries and ruins, there is believed to be $100 billion in copper. A Chinese mining company has scheduled destruction of the […]

Conflict Endangers Syrian Treasures

August 28, 2012

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The recent fighting in Syrian city Aleppo poses irreparable damage to the city’s architectural and cultural legacy. A recent article in The New York Times explains that, as the world’s oldest continuously inhabited human settlement, Aleppo has been home to different civilizations for over 5,000 years. One of the oldest structures in the world – […]

UNESCO Pleads With Syrian Secretary-General to Preserve Citadel of Aleppo

July 30, 2012

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More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the Syrian conflict began some 16 months ago. In the midst of the fighting, historical and cultural monuments have also been put at risk. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has issued a plea to those fighting to conserve the monuments. UNESCO […]

European Union Cracks Down on Syrian Art Buyers

July 23, 2012

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Amidst continuing violence against anti-government protestors, Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and wife Asma have managed to maintain their lavish lifestyle.  Asma purchased thousands of dollars worth of designer goods online in 2011, and has attempted to purchase £5,000 to £10,500 worth of artwork from a London-based dealer.  In what appears to be a symbolic measure […]

Los Angeles Museum Forced to Hold Islamic Art Exhibit in Qatar

April 16, 2012

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has at last completed its largest exhibition of Islamic art. The exhibit, “Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts” is now on display. The only problem being that it is 8,000 miles away from Los Angeles in Doha, the capital of Qatar. In […]

Woman Arrested for Smuggling Coins INTO Cyprus

February 17, 2012

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Syrian officials have detained a Cypriot woman on suspicions of illegally smuggling ancient coins. The woman was arrested at a Syrian airport on February 4. Her brother informed the Cypriot embassy and they attempted to meet with her. However, when they arrived at the woman’s holding cell, she had already been moved. The woman is […]

United States Cuts off Funding to UNESCO

November 28, 2011

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Longstanding American legislation took effect last month cutting off funding to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization when the latter voted to give full membership to the Palestinians. The legislation provided for immediate cessation of financial aid to any organization that approved Palestine as a full member.  The US provides 22% of the […]