Culture Under Threat Video Series: New York Forum

#CultureUnderThreat New York City Summit

#CultureUnderThreat: Antiquities Trafficking and Terrorist Financing

The Culture Under Threat forum hosted by the Asia Society, the Antiquities Coalition, the Middle East Institute, and UNESCO joined Foreign Ministers and senior government officials from around the world with leaders of arts institutions, archaeological associations, and experts in terrorism. The conference sought to create collaborative networks to stop the looting and trafficking of antiquities, and halt this major source of terrorist funding.

The Importance of #CombatLooting and Outreach

Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, discusses ways to create collaborative solutions to cultural racketeering and the importance of outreach, particularly to young people. Mme Bokova speaks to integrating the efforts of NGOs and state actors, as well as the immorality of cultural heritage destruction and vandalism.

Preservation Lessons and Collaborative Partnerships to Return “Conflict Antiquities”

His Excellency Chan Tani, Secretary of State, Council of Ministers, Royal Government of Cambodia, discusses what preservations lessons Cambodia learned from its own decades of war, including the importance of sustainable tourism to its post-conflict recovery. He also addresses Cambodia’s efforts to recover its stolen “conflict antiquities” from American auction houses and museums through a strong partnership with the U.S. government.

Policing and Protecting Borders, Sites, and Objects to Prevent Cultural Racketeering

James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, iterates the imperative to police borders and sites to protect antiquities from destruction in conflict zones through a system of partake, safe-harbor zones, and on-the-ground security.

The Importance of Collaboration for Post-Conflict Assistance

Bonnie Burnham, Senior Advisor to the World Monuments Fund, stresses the importance of collaborative efforts towards documentation and capacity building for preserving cultural heritage in areas of conflict, and the impact of solidarity in the face of the humanitarian crisis.

Protecting Universal Human Heritage

His Excellency Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Iraq emphasizes the collective need for saving Iraqi ancient antiquities and heritage thorough legal enforcement of national regulations and international conventions.

The Responsibilities of Museums and the Art Market

Karol Wight, the President and Executive Director of the Corning Museum of Glass as well as Curator for Ancient and Islamic Glass, describes the art museum industry’s approach to acquisitions policies and the responsibility of dealers and the art market to ensure that reliable provenance accompanies all artifacts.

Economic Development and Site Preservation

Lawrence S. Coben, the Executive Director of Sustainable Preservation Initiative, stresses how essential economic development is as a means to combat looting of archaeological sites and monuments.

A Global Antiquities Market Fueled by Looting and Demand

Ricardo J. Elia, Associate Professor of Archaeology at Boston University, discusses the global nature of the antiquities market and urges countries to reduce the demand for stolen cultural property.