On March 4, the Senate passed legislation (S. 671) that gives the President the authority to impose restrictions to prevent the import into the United States of cultural materials that have been illegally removed from Iraq since August 1990. Enactment of this legislation is crucial to prevent cultural materials looted from Iraq’s cultural institutions from entering the United States and to help combat the looting of archaeological sites.
On January 8th, 2004, Jane Waldbaum, AIA President, sent the following letter to officials at US AID and the US Army Corps of Engineers requesting that the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (ISBAH) be consulted and that cultural heritage resource management requirements be established...
The 812th Military Police Company, working with the Iraqi police, have again reclaimed items on the "30 Most Wanted List" of antiquities stolen from the Iraq Museum.
It now appears that no action will take place on H.R. 2009, the "Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act." A new piece of legislation, S. 671/H.R. 1047, is now in process and contains provisions—although not as strong as H.R. 2009 would have been—for the protection of Iraq's cultural heritage. The AIA supports this piece of legislation and urges the public to help secure its passage.
On September 20, AIA member John M. Russell (Massachusetts College of Art) will go to Iraq to work with the Coalition Provisional Authority as Deputy Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the conviction of Frederick Schultz, a prominent New York antiquities dealer. This ruling affirms the lower courts decision that cultural objects subject to national ownership laws are considered to be stolen property when removed from their country of origin without the consent of that Government.
John M. Russell provided the AIA with an informal report on his visit to Baghdad soon after the end of major combat operations.
On the recommendation of the Professional Responsibilities Committee, the Executive Committee of the AIA at its September meeting unanimously endorsed the Draft UNESCO Declaration Concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage.
In response to the recent looting of Iraqi museums and other cultural institutions, the AIA has formed a Task Force on the Cultural Heritage of Iraq, chaired by AIA President, Jane Waldbaum. We are working with the State Department, other branches of the U.S. government, and other cultural organizations to assist in the restoration of artifacts and manuscripts stolen from Iraq.
In January 2001 the governments of Italy and the United States signed a bilateral agreement to restrict the import into the U.S. of a wide range of archaeological materials from Italy. As part of that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Italy has agreed to provide a series of exciting opportunities for many Americans.
The 2014 BP Award goes to the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program for its grassroots efforts to train local communities in the preservation of archaeological sites.
Help support the Site Preservation Program while ringing in the New Year with the 2014 AIA Calendar.
Take a look at the newly completed Umm el-Jimal Project!