Cultural heritage

Ancient Chinese sites hit by flash floods this summer

Deadly rains in central Henan province threatened key Unesco World Heritage sites and hundreds of national relics. Experts warn the disaster may be a taste of future trouble

An ancient Buddhist city is perched on top of an Afghan copper reserve worth $50 billion—what will happen to it under Taliban control?

Cultural heritage workers estimate they have five years to secure the heritage site’s contents before it is destroyed to extract the ore

Afghanistananalysis

Afghanistan: the historical sites of key concern after the Taliban's return

From the Bamiyan Valley to an ancient spiritual centre of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, former Unesco senior official Francesco Bandarin looks at the embattled country’s most important landmarks

Under the Biden administration, can US cultural policy better reflect American values?

Building relationships with all stakeholders—from dealers and collectors to museums and archaeologists—is vital

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grants $3m to Black historic landmarks

The $50m grant programme, launched in the wake of the Unite the Right rally, aims to preserve histories beyond Confederate heritage

Venice comment

Now is the time for Unesco to call Venice's authorities to order

For decades, short-termism and conflicting interests have prevented a sustainable plan for Venice from being developed or enacted

Unesco warns that Stonehenge will go on its danger list unless plans to build tunnel beneath it are modified

World Heritage Site status may also be removed from Liverpool's waterfront after excessive development

Hallelujah! Former studio of 'nun-turned-artist' Corita Kent designated historic cultural landmark

The Hollywood studio where Kent made works challenging social injustice in the 1960s was due to be demolished to make room for a parking lot

Uyghurnews

China's destruction of Uyghur cultural property evidence of 'genocidal intent', UK MPs declare

Members of Parliament send warning to China ahead of motion to acknowledge human rights abuses against minorities in Xinjiang region

Oxford college will not remove controversial statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes

Independent commission recommends contextualising the sculpture instead

Lootnews

Looted Libyan sculpture seized at Heathrow Airport heads back home with help from the British Museum

The funerary piece was illicitly excavated from the ancient city of Cyrene which is under threat from property developers

Keep your distance, former culture ministers warn UK government

Independence of museums and heritage bodies is at risk, say Ed Vaizey and Chris Smith, as Johnson’s government pushes ‘anti-woke’ agenda

Stonehenge: could a road tunnel ruin the ancient site?

Plus, French museums revolt against lockdown closures and artist Crystal Fischetti on Karla Black

5,000 years in 350 objects: Victoria and Albert Museum reveals details about its epic 'immersive' Iran show

With ten sections covering ancient Iranian history to contemporary art, London museum plans to open delayed show in February

Finally, rebel experts come to the rescue of Unesco’s failing World Heritage programme

New organisation, Our World Heritage, is putting Unesco's feet to the fire

From the Dalai Lama’s tailoring to beekeeping in Kenya, British Museum saves world's dying skills

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme will be extended for seven more years with £8.8m grant from Arcadia fund

Gli, the cat of the Hagia Sophia, has died, aged 16

The famous feline was born at the UNESCO World Heritage Site that was controversially converted into a mosque earlier this year

Australia pledges millions towards repatriation of Aboriginal artefacts from overseas collections

Government extends pilot project to return objects to Indigenous peoples—including those held by private collectors

Jair Bolsonaro, long criticised for anti-black statements, removes a painting of Afro-Brazilian deities from presidential offices

The Brazilian president allegedly requested the removal of Os Orixás by the artist Djanira da Motta e Silva at the behest of his wife, an Evangelical Christian

Why we should be concerned about President Erdogan turning museums into mosques

Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church will remain “open to all”, Turkish government promises—but restricted access may not be the primary worry

First Hagia Sophia, now Turkey's 'Sistine Chapel of Byzantium' will be turned back into mosque

The 14th-century mosaics at Chora Church—which was converted to a museum in 1945—risk being covered up and remaining part-restored

Russia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church

Tactical move comes after Turkish president ordered historic Istanbul site to be turned into a mosque

Saving Notre Dame's 'voice': mammoth restoration begins on cathedral's fire-damaged organ

Beginning today, the piece by piece removal and cleaning of the instrument is the latest stage of the building's reconstruction

The destruction of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal heritage

Plus, art under threat in Putin's Russia and George Shaw on Thomas Jones. Produced in association with Christie's

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Sophia Kishkovsky. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

Digital technologies allow us to create precise copies of artefacts—but what does this mean for the idea of 'authenticity'?

Online book demonstrates the groundbreaking work by Factum Foundation to create high-resolution facsimiles but also raises questions of value

Culture of chivalry is not quite dead, but it certainly is not what it used to be, new book shows

Essays on the concept are useful for their discussions of arms, heraldry, castles and gardens as well as its long lasting effect on European culture

Book of discarded family pictures reminds us of our mortality

Personal collection of anonymous photographs made from Kodachrome slides shows the transience of our lives

Cultural heritage experts rally in Edinburgh to find solutions to climate crisis

Supporters of new international Climate Heritage Network argue that the sector has a “moral duty” to act

Construction on Notre Dame pushed back to 19 August as steps taken to decontaminate site from lead

Construction had been expected to start a week earlier, but new safety measures for the protection of workers are still being tested

Unfinished quarters of a Bavarian palace create a striking backdrop for contemporary art

Imaginatively curated, the fourth edition of the Königsklasse exhibition is as monumental as the Herrenchiemsee Palace in which it is installed

Venice has no official plan for how to deal with climate change

A new report by Icomos details how the science/culture divide is stopping world heritage coming to the aid of climate change and urges speedy action

Unescocomment

A former Unesco chief denounces its failure to protect Venice at Baku meeting

“Where have the ethics and sense of a global mandate to protect the world’s heritage gone?”, asks Francesco Bandarin

Cultural divisions deepen in Jerusalem amid Israeli election campaign

Christian institutions are calling attention to their marginalisation in wake of Israel’s focus on Jewish-centric policies

Unesconews

In a first, Unesco gives Frank Lloyd Wright buildings World Heritage status

US architect's distinctive designs are among 29 designees recognised for their “outstanding value to humanity”

Booksarchive

Lost libraries and broken Buddhas: war, iconoclasm and social media

The history of cultural destruction as a propaganda tool

Cambodiaarchive

Cambodia to host culture and tourism conference

Preservation, cultural routes, urban regeneration through tourism are all set to be discussed

Cambodiaarchive

Light is finally being shed on the issue of restitution of looted art

The restitution of Cambodian statues by major museums and auction houses is an encouraging sign

Newsarchive

Great War memorials go online for first time

The project has already documented around 2,000 works

Newsarchive

Syrian war’s devastating toll on antiquities

Unesco places major national heritage sites on danger list as ground combat, air strikes and looting reduce ancient settlements to rubble

Tourismarchive

Return of Morgantina Venus inspires Sicilian tourism enterprise

Public-private tourism partnership aims to make more of the island’s heritage.

Cambodiaarchive

Demilitarised zone established to protect shelled temple on border between Cambodia and Thailand

Thai army cedes ground but future of Cambodian World Heritage site remains unresolved

Draft Unesco Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage would extend controls 200 miles out from the coast

If the draft is approved by two-thirds of member countries at the General Conference next month it will be sent out for ratification. US and Russian support unlikely.

Arles cultural centre falls foul of planning rules

French heritage authority wants Gehry-designed towers moved to reduce their impact on the city’s archaeology.

Another casualty of the culture wars

Damage to the Egyptian Museum is just the latest example of the politicisation of archaeology.

First evidence of damage to Gaza’s cultural sites emerges

Antiquities museum hit; fears grow for excavated archaeology.

Newsarchive

Georgia and Russia rattle their sabres over war damage

Both sides claim the other damaged historic buildings

Unesco to step in to examine so-called “pyramids”

Academics claim that the dig is “pseudo-archaeology”

Provenancearchive

US museum directors debate antiquities provenance dilemma

Should museums acquire objects without provenance, which may have been looted? Yes, say several panelists

Art tradearchive

Excavations and trade are essential to the study of antiquities

An international symposium hosted by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) comes together to discuss the art trade and cultural heritage preservation.

Iraqarchive

Iraq was turned into the world centre for the destruction and looting of some of humanity’s most ancient symbols of civilisation

And so it came to pass that not a single world renowned site or treasured museum was protected

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