The Latest

Live Webinar: The Need for Proactive Policy

July 28, 2022

Join us August 15 at 10:00 AM New York / 3:00 PM London / 7:30 PM Chennai for this Free Webinar

As the Russia-Ukraine War rages on, culture in Ukraine remains under attack.  

From recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and now, Ukraine, the international community has seen the catastrophic impact of war on cultural heritage. But conflict is not the only threat. Looting and illicit trade feed upon any weakening of civil society caused by globalization, natural disasters, climate change, and pandemics. In such situations, the international community scrambles to implement protective emergency actions – usually too late. What is worse, resources deployed in one emergency rarely prevent theft and illicit trade in future emergencies elsewhere, whatever and wherever they might be.

On August 15, the Antiquities Coalition will convene top experts from academia, civil society, and the law to make recommendations for how international public and legal policy should take a proactive stance aimed at eradicating threats to cultural heritage globally. The discussion will feature takeaways from the Antiquities Coalition’s roadmap for the G20, Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones, as an example of how leaders can strengthen global efforts against the looting and trafficking of cultural objects.

As evidenced by the situation in Ukraine, our current policy framework is failing—failing our cultural heritage, failing the communities and countries with the closest ties, failing their governments, failing law enforcement, and failing the legitimate art market. Such a stark assessment is daunting, and demands rigorous investigation and discussion. The Antiquities Coalition looks forward to your participation in this important conversation. 

Moderated by Dr. James K. Reap. 

Meet the Speakers

Neil Brodie

Dr. Neil Brodie has been researching the illicit trade in cultural objects since 1997. He has held positions at the University of Oxford, the British School at Athens, the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, where he was Research Director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre, Stanford University’s Archaeology Center, and the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of the UK Committee of the Blue Shield, an Expert member of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, and a Corresponding Member of the Archaeological Institute of America. He has worked on archaeological projects in the United Kingdom, Greece and Jordan, and continues to work in Greece.

He has been an author for the Antiquities Coalition Think Tank and is Co-author of the AC Report: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones: A Roadmap for the G20 to Combat the Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects.

Haydee Dijkstal

Haydee Dijkstal is a UK Barrister at 33 Bedford Row Chamber in London practicing international criminal law and international human rights law.  She is also a US attorney with over a decade of experience in international law. Haydee’s practice in the area of international criminal law has included cases before the International Criminal Court, International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and has involved the representation of victims, governments and those accused. Haydee is currently acting as counsel for a group of Afghan victims participating before the ICC.

Haydee publishes on the intersection between protection of cultural heritage under international law, and international criminal and international human rights law. She is author of the AC Policy Brief “How can cultural heritage threatened by globalization and environmental destruction be protected? Looking to the crimes against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer as a potential legal remedy.”

Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar is a Fellow of the Cost and Management Accountants of India and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers London (UK). Sculpture and Indian temple art is his passion. He hails from Chennai but moved to Singapore in 2006 as General Manager of a leading Container liner shipping company overseeing their land-side operations in South East Asia. He has been writing extensively on sculpture and art appreciation, targeting early audiences to introduce them to understanding the nuances of Indian sculptural art.

In early 2014, Vijay and his core team of volunteers formed India Pride Project — a social media initiative to combat the rampant looting of Indian art treasures — and have been instrumental in the tracking of high profile trafficked artifacts for the past few years and work closely with various pan global organizations assisting in their restitution efforts. The efforts of the India Pride Project’s #BringOurGodsHome initiative targets to return hundreds of stolen deities back to India.

James K. Reap

James K. Reap is a Professor in the Master of Historic Preservation Program. He is director of the University of Georgia Croatia Study Abroad Program (2007-13, 2018-) and is an affiliated faculty member of the UGA African Studies Institute. He is the former Program Coordinator of the MHP program, President and current Secretary General of the Committee on Legal, Administrative and Financial Issues and a member of the Committee on Shared Built Heritage of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and a Fellow and Legal Advisor ofUS/ICOMOS, serving on the Executive Committee. Professor Reap is currently a board member of the United States Committee of the Blue Shield and a past board member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Action. He has worked on preservation issues in Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Isber Sabrine

Isber Sabrine is a Syrian archaeologist, specializing in cultural heritage management, as well as a certified National Tourist Guide in Syria. He has been a member of the Syrian Spanish team of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 2005. Since 2011, Isber has been a researcher at the Institución Milá y Fontanals of the Spanish National Research Council and has been involved in projects and studies on the protection of cultural heritage during conflicts. He is currently chair and co-founder of the international NGO Heritage for Peace. Since 2015, he has been involved in cultural initiatives for refugees and immigrants in Europe.

Isber is Co-author of the AC Report: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones: A Roadmap for the G20 to Combat the Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects.