News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Displaying items by tag: temple

The burgeoning list of appalling acts by ISIS has grown even longer: The Islamic extremist group has blown up a nearly 2,000-year-old temple in the historic ruins of Palmyra, Syria.

UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, called the destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin a "war crime."

Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's director-general of antiquities and museums, said Sunday that sources in Palmyra informed him that ISIS members rigged the temple with large quantities of explosives and detonated them.

Published in News

Back in the day, Egyptians had a lot of gods. To those of us living in the modern era without degrees in archaeology, their names are perhaps most familiar from pop schlock like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” making hay with Egypt-y stuff: Ra, Geb, Shu, Osiris, Set, et cetera.

But then there was Amun. In ancient Egyptian mythology — we’re talking 3,000 years ago here — Amun was the king of the gods: the Jupiter, the Zeus, the Odin, the Big Kahuna.

Amun was important enough to have a temple — that goes without saying. But Amun was so important that the guardian of that temple, a nobleman named Amenhotep, got a fancy tomb. And photographs of that tomb have just been released by Egypt’s antiquities ministry.

Published in News

Hundreds of paintings were discovered in the 12th century Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat hiding in plain sight.

Though thousands of people pass through the religious monument every day, nobody had ever noticed the ancient graffiti on the faded walls. Researcher Noel Hidalgo Tan first saw the red and black pigment on the walls of the monument when he visited and decided to investigate, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

Published in News
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 18:21

Officials Return Looted Artifacts to India

Federal officials have returned three stolen antiquities estimated to be worth around $1.5 million to the Indian Consulate in New York. The United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations has been working with India to recover dozens of stolen artifacts in recent years.

All three of the works date from the 11th or 12th century and include a sandstone sculpture that had been stolen from an Indian temple in 2009. The 350-pound work, which depicts the deities Vishnu and Lakshmi, had been listed as one of the Interpol’s top 10 stolen artworks. The other recovered artifacts include a 400-pound figurative sculpture and a black sandstone sculpture depicting the male deity Bodhisattva.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday, January 14 at the Consulate.

Published in News
Monday, 16 December 2013 18:28

Ancient Statue to be Returned to Cambodia

An ancient statue sold at auction will be returned to Cambodia after an agreement was signed by Sotheby’s, the work's consignor and federal officials. The figure, which is believed to have been looted from a temple in the Cambodian jungle, has been at the center of a legal battle for nearly two years.

The 10th century sandstone statue depicting a Hindu warrior is estimated to be worth $2 million and was consigned by its long-time owner in 2011. Following the agreement to return the treasure, lawyers from the U.S. Attorney’s Office withdrew allegations that Sotheby’s and the consignor knew of the work’s troubled provenance before importing it for sale. The consignor will receive no compensation for the statue from Cambodia.

A spokesman for Sotheby’s said the auction house was pleased that “the agreement confirms that Sotheby’s and its client acted properly at all times.”

Published in News

British art collector, Douglas A.J. Latchford, has spent decades building his reputation as one of the foremost experts in Khmer antiquities. Latchford, a resident of Thailand, was knighted in 2008 by the Cambodian government for admirably returning 14th-century Khmer artifacts.

In sharp contrast to his previous accolades, Latchford is currently the subject of a civil complaint files by the U.S. attorney’s office. Federal lawyers state that Latchford, referred to in proceedings as “the Collector,” bought a 10th century Khmer warrior statue known as the Duryodhana in the 1970s knowing that it had been looted from a temple during the Cambodian civil war.

While Latchford denies ever having owned the work, court papers claim that he purchased the statue from a Thai dealer who acquired the work from an organized looting network. Allegedly, Latchford then helped get the piece into Britain by concealing what was actually being shipped. Upon its arrival to the U.K., the auction house Spink & Son sold the statue to a Belgian collector in 1975. The collector’s widow is the Duryodhana’s current owner.

The widow approached Sotheby’s New York in 2010, hoping to sell the 500-pound sandstone statue. However, the sale was put on hold because of objections from the Cambodian government. While lawyers are hoping to return the work to Cambodia, the auction house still plans on selling the treasure, stating that there is no evidence to prove that the statue was looted or that it is the property of the Cambodian government.

Latchford has been collecting Cambodian antiquities for over 55 years and has donated many works to well-known institutions, including the National Museum in Phnom Penh and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A judge is expected to rule on the Duryodhana case within the next few months.

Published in News