On September 9, 2004, as a response to recent information that controlled detonation of military ordnance near the important ancient and Early Islamic site of Hatra in Iraq will likely result in permanent damage to the site, AIA President Jane C. Waldbaum sent a message to Dr. Joseph Collins, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Frank Romano, Department of Defense, and Mr. William Jeffrey, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy requesting that they take steps to ensure the protection of the site.
Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE), the volunteer group dedicated to increasing public awareness of the looting of cultural antiquities worldwide and the illicit antiquities trade, officially launches its new web site.
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.
The most recent Site Preservation Grant was awarded to a preservation and outreach project at Narce, Italy.
CPAC will discuss Egypt's recent request for import restrictions on archaeological materials and conduct an interim review of the Nicaragua MoU.
Nominate a deserving individual or institution for the CHM Award by May 1, 2014.