Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE) Launches New Website
April 30, 2004

On June 1st, 2004, Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE), the volunteer group dedicated to increasing public awareness of the looting of cultural antiquities worldwide and the illicit antiquities trade, will officially launch its new web site, www.savingantiquities.org.

Founded in April 2003, in response to the ransacking of the National Museum of Iraq, SAFE is a coalition of professional communications, media, and advertising working together with experts in the academic and museum community. The newly named and redesigned website is the brainchild of SAFE’s founder, Cindy Ho. “The new website is critical for the push for public awareness.” says Ho. “Too often, people are unaware of the widespread looting that occurs all over the world – even here in America. This website will offer a starting point for people to learn more about protecting their history and their culture.”

Included in the new website will be: News and information on the looting crisis and the illicit antiquities trade from around the world; featured articles spotlighting high-risk areas written by SAFE members and guest editors; information on the latest treaties and legislation; an open forum for the discussion of recent issues; success stories of recovered objects; reader recommendations and reviews of books, film and television programs on archaeology and looting; links to other sites like the Archaeological Institute of America, Interpol and ICOM’s Emergency Red List. Also included will be information on how to get involved with SAFE, recent projects, member biographies and contact information.

SAFE’s mission is to increase public awareness of the importance of preserving cultural heritage worldwide. SAFE was founded in response to the ransacking of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, but our effort is global. SAFE is a nonprofit volunteer organization with no political or commercial affiliations. Our agenda is simple: to address the ongoing worldwide problem of vandals and looters robbing us of our collective heritage.

For more information on SAFE, please contact Robin Marcato at 718/789-7335 or rmarcato@savingantiquities.org.

"The work that SAFE is doing is critical, not only for Iraq's cultural heritage, but also for the heritage of all mankind. All those who enjoy the benefits of democracy have a duty to stand up and support those actions that will stop the destruction of history." Dr. Donny George Youkhanna, Director General of the National Museum of Iraq

 

Update: April 30, 2004
On June 1st, 2004, Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE), the volunteer group dedicated to increasing public awareness of the looting of cultural antiquities worldwide and the illicit antiquities trade, will officially launch its new web site, www.savingantiquities.org.

New York, July 7, 2003. SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) is a new nonprofit dedicated to raising public awareness of the critical issue of preserving our endangered cultural and artistic heritage.

The organization is an outgrowth of the ransacking of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad in April of this year. “On three frightful days, some of the most precious remnants of early civilization were either stolen or destroyed,” notes Cindy Ho, an advertising art director and founder of SAFE.

“We call upon leaders of academia and the communications industries to work together in the creation of a multidisciplinary global public awareness campaign to inform the public why it is important to preserve antiquities,” Ms. Ho continued. SAFE intends to bring together professionals from communications media and advertising with experts in the academic and museum communities.

SAFE’s website, at www.safenow.net, provides information about the Iraq crisis, the problem of looting beyond Iraq, and the illicit antiquities trade. In addition, the website showcases SAFE's effort to recruit participants, and provides ideas for projects, a forum for discussion, and a resource library. With colorful images showing artifacts from the Baghdad Museum, the SAFE website aims to open up the line of communication between industry and academia.

SAFE launches on the heels of the recent confusion over the number of objects lost in Baghdad. “The fact is, the widely reported ‘33 lost objects’ do not take into account the thousands of pieces stolen from the museum’s storage galleries,” said SAFE member Cynthia Bates, veteran advertising planner and now graduate student in archaeology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Worse, looting continues every day at archaeological sites across Iraq, and around the world including third-world countries, North America, and Europe.

Ms. Bates considers this even more devastating than the loss of the objects themselves, because it “destroys the archaeological context.” Looting makes it impossible for archaeologists to piece together ancient societies in a way that can tell us a coherent story of our ancestors and origins.

“What happened in Iraq is a wake-up call to finally get something done about this age-old problem before media attention evaporates,” said Cindy Ho. “What we propose is very ambitious. We’re dealing with a global problem that’s fueled by the black-market antiquities trade. It’s important to inform the general public that our collective cultural heritage is in danger.”

SAFE’s first brainstorming sessions are planned for Chicago as well as New York. For further information, please contact us at safeinfo@safenow.net, or Ruth Lerman at 917-496-6890.

SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) is a nonprofit volunteer organization based in the New York. SAFE has no political or commercial affiliations.

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