United States Department of State International Cultural Property Protection HomeSite IndexImage Database
   
Protecting Cultural Property Worldwide     Recent Reports of Looting, Theft, Prosecution and Recovery on the World Wide Web
What's New
The Problem of Pillage
Recent Reports of Looting, Theft, Prosecution and Recovery on the World Wide Web

The U.S. Response

U.S. and International Laws


   

September 1999

  • Athens News Agency Stolen Antiquities from Ancient Corinth Museum Discovered in Miami (Athens, September 15, 1999). Authorities in Miami, Florida have retrieved most of the artifacts stolen from one of Greece's most significant archaeological museums almost a decade ago and are preparing to return them.
  • Schuster, Angela M. Maya Stela Fragment Returned Archaeology Online News (September 3, 1999). A Late Classic stela fragment from the site of El Peru has been returned to Guatemala. Ian Graham, an archaeologist at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, identified the piece and the current owner returned it as a gesture of goodwill.
  • Rose, Mark Steinhardt Loses Appeal Archaeology Volume 52 No. 5 (September/October 1999). On July 12, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling that the fourth-century Sicilian bowl purchased by New York collector Michael Steinhardt should be returned.
  • Cooper, Martha Looters Foiled Archaeology Volume 52 No. 5 (September/October 1999). Last December an archaeological enthusiast in Belize persuaded looters in the midst of clearing a tomb to stop and let him record the contents. The materials were subsequently recovered by the Department of Archaeology in Belize.

May 1999

  • Slayman, Andrew L. Getty Returns Italian Artifacts Archaeology Volume 52 No. 3 (May/June 1999). After determining that they had been stolen, Getty curator Marion True returned two pieces of sculpture and a drinking cup to Italy.
  • Rose, Mark Hoard Returned Archaeology Volume 52 No. 3 (May/June 1999). In a March ceremony at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, businessman William I. Koch announced that he is returning to Turkey over 1,600 coins illegally excavated 15 years ago.
  • Slayman, Andrew Khmer Site Looted Archaeology Volume 52 No. 3 (May/June 1999). Banteay Chhmar, a twelfth-century site near the Thai border, has suffered severe looting in the last six months. Banteay Chhmar was included on the World Monuments Fund's 1998-99 list of the world's 100 most endangered sites.

April 1999

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York Press Release (New York, April 26, 1999). Mary Jo White, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that they will return a priceless medieval carved wood panel to the Republic of Turkey.
  • U.S. Customs Service Press Release (New York, April 16, 1999). U.S. Customs Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly officially returned to the Israeli government an antique torah crown which was stolen from Israel and recovered by the U.S. Customs Service.

February 1999

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York Press Release (New York, February 24, 1999). Mary Jo White, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that an 18th-century manuscript seized by the Government from Sotheby's has been ordered forfeited to the U.S. for eventual return to the Mexican National Archives.

January 1999

  • Bocharov, Petko Bulgaria: Police Fight Theft of Antiquities, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Sofia, January 4, 1999). Colonel Cyril Radev reported that nearly $1 billion worth of antiquities were prevented from being illegally exported to the West last year.
  • Schuster, Angela Maya Art Returned, Archaeology Volume 52 No. 1 (January/February 1999). The Denver Art Museum returned a carved wooden lintel taken from the site of El Zotz in Guatemala and sold to the museum before the U.S. had a law prohibiting importation of pre-Columbian art from Guatemala. "Returning it was simply the right thing to do," said Denver Art Museum director Lewis Sharp.

 

1998 Reports

       
Home Site Index | Disclaimer & Credits | Contact Us | Back To Top
Revised: October 1, 1999

On October 1, 1999, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will become part of the
U.S. Department of State. Bureau webpages are being updated accordingly. Thank you for your patience.