Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cultural Heritage Issues at the 2009 AIA Meeting in Philadelphia

In addition the regular archaeology paper sessions and numismatic colloquia I mentioned before, the AIA/APA Joint Annual Meeting in Philadelphia next week will also be host to a number of sessions and events addressing cultural heritage issues:

AIA President C. Brian Rose's Plenary Session: Cultural Property and Armed Conflict. Friday, January 9, 7:00-8:30 p.m."Cultural Property and the Role of U.S. Army Civil Affairs," Major General David A. Morris, Commanding General, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, and "The Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict," Karl von Habsburg, Vice President, Austrian Society for the Protection of Cultural Property

A colloquium organized by Blythe A. Bowman, a SAFE volunteer, will occur on Friday, January 9 — 11:15 to 1:15 pm. Session: 2H: "Crimes Against Culture: Perspectives on Archeological Site Looting and Illicit Antiquities Trade" (Click hyperlink for paper titles and abstracts).

A colloquium organized by Elizabeth Gilgan, a SAFE board member, will take place on Friday, January 9 - 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Session: 3E: "Selling Our Past to the Highest Bidder: A Global Snapshot of Antiquities in the Art Market" (click hyperlink for paper titles and abstracts).

A workshop organized by Eric Powell, a SAFE board member, will be conducted on Saturday January 10, 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Session 6E: "Legal Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage: National and International Perspectives in Light of the 'Black Swan' Case" (Click hyperlink for a list of participants).

Another colloquium session which may be relevant (organized by Eric Cline and C. Brian Rose) is Session 8D: "Taking Back Our Field: Archaeology and the Media" on Sunday, January 11, 11:15 - am - 1:15 pm (Click hyperlink for paper titles and abstracts).

In addition to these lectures, the public advocacy group SAFE will again be exhibiting at the AIA. Some of SAFE's board members and volunteers organized or will be participating in the above panels. The highlight of SAFE's presence at the meeting will take place on Saturday when the group awards Prof. Colin Renfrew with the 2009 SAFE Beacon Award. Prof. Renfrew will give a lecture entitled "Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: the 1970 Rule as a Turning Point (or How the Metropolitan Museum lags behind the Getty)."

At SAFE's booth, volunteers will be on hand to discuss SAFE's activities and mission with conference participants and will also host film screenings and speakers. Speakers who have been invited to give presentations at the SAFE booth include Robert K. Wittman, Dr. Neil Brodie, and Nathan T. Elkins. The schedule and title of these presentations has not been posted by SAFE, but I can say my talk will take place Friday at 10 am and will be entitled "The Trade in Ancient Coins in the USA: Scale and Structure," which is based on some of the talks I have been giving in Germany (e.g. here and here).

As usual the AIA meeting will have a strong showing of regular academic papers and this year it appears there will be abundant opportunity for participants to discuss and learn about current and pressing cultural heritage issues.