| what's new | announcements | public programs |
| website information & statistics | copyrights & permissions | comments |

| website navigational aid |

THE ORIENTAL INSTITUTE --- The University of Chicago

Lost Treasures from Iraq

Lost Treasures Homepage
Iraq Museum Database
Site Photographs
IraqCrisis Mailing List
Contact us

Workshop: “The Threat to Iraq’s Cultural Heritage – Current Status and Future Prospects” (July 23, 2005)


Statement read at the Workshop “The Threat to Iraq’s Cultural Heritage – Current Status and Future Prospects" (July 23, 2005)

(workshop sponsored by the Iraq Working Group of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, organized in conjunction with the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale)   

Statement List of signed names Adding name to the list Discussion forum

        The statement below was read by Michael Müller-Karpe, based on an earlier draft prepared for and read at the Rencontre's General Meeting on July 20, 2005. with editorial input from Clemens Reichel and Francis Deblauwe as well as others. Its was signed by 46 attendees of the workshop; as of May 3 2006, 45 more colleagues have requested for their names to be added to the list of signatures, bringing the total number of signatures up to 91. It is posted here as an item of information, not as an official policy adopted by the Oriental Institute. Scholars in the field of Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology are encouraged to add their names to the list of signatures and / or to discuss this statement.

Statement:

        As scholars in the field of Near Eastern archaeology and cuneiform studies from five continents we, the undersigned, express our deep concern about the ongoing looting of archaeological sites in Iraq.

        Beyond the fact that looting sites for artifacts constitutes theft, the destruction of archaeological contexts results in an irreversible loss of information. Since only marketable artifacts are retrieved during such clandestine operations, most other objects are destroyed, resulting in a tremendous additional loss of archaeological data.

        The present circumstances in Iraq have set the stage for the unprecedented destruction of an archaeological heritage that represents the cradle of civilization for all mankind.  It is the ever-growing demand for antiquities in a worldwide market, however, that provides the incentive for looting and illegal excavation.  Insufficient legislation in many countries continues to guarantee the marketability of these stolen goods.

        Countries which have not yet ratified the UNESCO conventions of 1970 and 1995 for the protection of cultural heritage are hereby urged to do so expediently and to implement and enforce effective antiquities laws.  The traditional approach of limiting legal protection to items listed as “items of national importance” by their countries of origin must be replaced by a general ban on any trade in looted artifacts from illegal excavations.

        Objects from illegal excavations often gain market value through scholarly assessments of authenticity, age and significance.  Discussing or referencing them in scientific studies is likely to increase their monetary value, adding more incentives for clandestine excavations and thereby contributing to the ongoing destruction of archaeological sites. 

        Scholars are therefore urged to refrain from providing expertise to the antiquities market and to private collectors, unless the artifacts in question can be proven to be neither excavated illegally nor exported without permission.

back to top


List of signed names (in alphabetical order, academic titles and affiliations as provided or known to us):

Last Name: First Name(s):
Academic Title:
Academic Affiliation:
Country:
attended workshop:
Comments:
Anderson Gretchen Oppmann
University of Chicago
U.S.A. x

Archi Alfonso Prof.
Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Italy


Anderson Lloyd  
Ecological Linguistics, Washington D.C.
U.S.A. x
"Oppose last #"
Asher-Greve Julia M. Dr.
Basel
Switzerland
x

Bagg Ariel M. Dr.
Institut für Altorientalistik
Freie Universität Berlin
Germany

Bailleul-Le Suer Rozenn
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Baker
Heather
Dr.
Institut für Orientalistik
Universität Wien
Austria
x

Bates Cynthia

SAFE
U.S.A. x

Belcher
Ellen
Prof.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY, New York
U.S.A.


Bellucci Benedetta  
Università di Pavia, Italy
Italy
x

Beuger Claudia Dr.
Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin
Germany
x

Biggs Robert Prof.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Cavigneaux Antoine Prof.
Université de Genève
Switzerland


Couto Érica
University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona Spain x

Deblauwe Francis Dr.
Universität Wien U.S.A. x
Feist Bettina Dr.
Institut für Altorientalistik, Berlin
Germany


Fuensanta Jesús Gil Dr.
MAET Madrid / University of Alicante
Spain
x

Garcia Ventura Agnes
University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona Spain x

Galter Hannes Dr.
Institut für Alte Geschichte, Universität Graz
Austria


Gehlken Erlend Dr.
Universität Wien
Austria


Gibson McGuire Prof.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A.
x

Gill David W.J. Dr.
Department of Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology,
University of Wales, Swansea
U.K. / Wales


Gimbel
David Nelson
Dr.
Archaeos, INC.   New York
U.S.A.


Greene Joseph A. Dr.
Harvard University U.S.A. x

Groneberg Brigitte Prof.
Universität Göttingen
Germany


Guralnick Eleanor  
Chicago U.S.A.
x

Haase Claus-Peter Prof.
Museum für islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
Germany

Hammerschlag-Lennings Elisabeth
Universiteit Leiden
Netherlands
x

Hansen Nicole
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Hauptmann Harald Prof.
Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
Germany


Hilgert Markus Dr.  
Institut für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients, Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena
Germany x

Holloway Steven W. Dr.
University of Chicago U.S.A.
x

Hritz Carrie M.A.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Hrouda Bartel Prof.
Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich Germany

Jones Charles E.
American School of Classical Studies, Athens;
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Greece


Kalla Gabor Dr.
Institut for Archaeological Sciences,
Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest
Hungary


Kilmer Anne D. Prof.
University of California, Berkeley / Arizona Senior Academy, Tucson
U.S.A.
x

Kolinski
Rafal
Prof.
Institute of Prehistory, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan
Poland

Koslova Natalia M.A.
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Russia
x

Krebernick Manfred Prof.
Institut für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients, Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena Germany


Larsen Mogens Trolle Prof.
University of Copenhagen Denmark

Lau Daniel M.A.
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Germany


Lenzi Alan Dr.
Brandeis University
U.S.A. x
"Last # problematic"
Lippolis Carlo Dr.
Università di Torino
Italy
x

Macgregor Sherry  
University of California, Berkeley U.S.A. x

Mazzoni Stefania Prof.
Università di Pisa
Italy


Martin Elizabeth  
Chicago
U.S.A. x

McMahon Augusta Dr.
Faculty of Oriental Studies, Cambridge University
U.K.


Messina
Vito
Dr.
Università di Torino
Italy


Müller-Karpe Andreas Prof.
Universtät Marburg
Germany

Müller-Karpe Michael Dr.
Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz Germany x

Osthoff
Susanne
M.A.

Iraq


Müller-Karpe Vuslat  
Universtät Marburg Germany

Nissen Hans J. Prof.
Seminar für Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde, Freie Universität Berlin
Germany


Novak Mirko Dr.
Altorientalisches Seminar, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Germany


Pedersén Olof Prof.
University of Uppsala
Sweden
x

Postgate John Nicholas Prof.
Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge
U.K.


Proust Christine  
CNRS, Paris
France
x

Reid Stephanie  
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Reichel Clemens
Dr.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Richardson Seth Prof.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Robson Eleanor Dr.
Cambridge University
U.K.
x

Russell John M. Prof.
Massachusetts College of Art
U.S.A.


Sanders John C.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Schaudig Hanspeter Dr.
Universität Heidelberg
Germany
x

Schipper Friedrich M.A.
University of Vienna
Austria

Selz Gebhard J. Prof.
Institut für Orientalistik, Universität Wien Austria

Sieda Abdulbaset  
University of Uppsala
Sweden
x

Sjöberg Åke Prof.
University of Uppsala
Sweden
x

Skou Anne
Eberhard-Karls Universität, Tübingen
Germany
x

Slanski Kathryn Dr.
Yale University
U.S.A.
x

Sommerfeld
Walter
Prof.
Universität Marburg
Germany


Stein
Gil
Prof.
Director, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
U.S.A.


Swirsky Cipora  
Tel-Aviv University Israel x

Terras Karen
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Thuesen Ingolf Prof.
Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Denmark


Trümpler Charlotte Dr.
Ruhrlandmuseum Essen
Germany

Thurman Rebecca
Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago
U.S.A. x

Ur Jason Dr.
Dept. of Anthropology, Harvard University
U.S.A.


Winter Irene Prof.
Harvard University
U.S.A.
x

Van Wissink Margaret  
Chicago
U.S.A.
x

Waetzoldt Hartmut Prof.
 Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des
Vorderen Orients - Assyriologie, Universität Heidelberg
Germany

Watanabe Chikako E. Dr.
Osaka Gakuin Junior College
Japan
x

Widell Magnus Dr.
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Winkler-Franke Hildegard Dr.
Berlin
Germany


Witczak Monica
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Witsell Alexandra
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago U.S.A. x

Yardenna Regev  
Tel-Aviv University
Israel
x
Youkhanna Donny George Dr. 
Director General, Iraqi Museums, Baghdad
Iraq


Zgoll
Annette
Dr.
Altorientalisches Institut der Universität Leipzig
Germany

















back to top


Adding your name to this list:

                 Send an email to Clemens Reichel (cdreiche@midway.uchicago.edu). Include your full name and academic affiliation. Also state if you have attended the workshop.

back to top


Discussion Forum:

                 Charles Jones, moderator of the Oriental Institute's IraqCrisis list, has agreed to host a discussion of the statement above. In order to participate in the discussion you need to subscribe to the list. All viewpoints are welcome; keep in mind, however, that IraqCrisis is a moderated list--keep your tone civil, your arguments to the point, and refrain from personal attacks.

back to top

return to the Workshop's Main Page


Oriental Institute Homepage
Lost Treasures Homepage
Site Photographs
IraqCrisis Mailing List
Contact us

created: July 27, 2005
revised: June 6, 2006
Copyright © 2005 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/ws_statement.html