Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cultural Security News (Mar. 24 - Mar. 30)

Conflicted art market and the case of the Duryodhana
In politics, in the United States, the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee criticized President Obama on the recent designation of national monuments. International usage of the phrase “cultural security” suggests the need for a definition.
In a crossover of politics and economics, in India, the Charminar in Hyderabad is once again up for consideration as UNESCO World Heritage.
In a crossover of politics and security, in Iraq, the Slovak Archaeological and Historical Institute (SAHI) plans to engage in excavations in the ancient Sumerian city of Umma. In Turkey, the travel ban on the Icelander arrested for attempted smuggling of antiquities was lifted. In Germany, a court passed a judgment that releases cultural objects for repatriation to Cyprus.
In economics, in Italy, construction workers discovered Mussolini’s bunker in Palazzo Venezia in Rome, and plans have been made to turn the structure into a tourist attraction. Reportedly, the Polish art market is primed to take on greater significance in Central Europe. In New York, auctions of Asian art had greater than expected success. Apparently, two primary annual reports on the art market, TEFAF and Artprice, tell somewhat different stories. Although the international art market contracted from 2012, art remains a sought after commodity.
In a crossover of economics and security, in Washington DC, more evidence suggests that the Mythic Warrior statue, Duryodhana, was illicitly removed from Cambodia after 1970.
In security, in Egypt, tomb raiding has reportedly worsened since Hosni Mubarak as more widespread and perpetrated by organized gangs with some armed and violent. The looting methods include digging tunnels to access archaeological treasures. In Libya, a Sufi shrine, which is legally protected as a national monument, was bombed. In Greece, a bomb exploded near the Acropolis in Athens.
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