Museum Security Network



JERSEY CITY, NJ—JANUARY 5, 2009—Today the non-profit organization SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone announced that famed archaeologist and cultural heritage advocate Colin Renfrew, Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, will deliver a lecture at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, on Thursday, January 15. This follows the Saturday, January 10 2009 SAFE Beacon Award Lecture where Professor Renfrew will receive the Beacon Award at a ceremony at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia, where the110th Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association will be held. Professor Renfrew will receive the Beacon Award in recognition of his outstanding service to archaeology and his efforts to raise public awareness about the looting of the world’s ancient heritage and the trade in illicit antiquities at a reception co-sponsored by SAFE and the Penn Cultural Heritage Center.

Professor Colin Renfrew’s lecture in New York entitled “Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: a Time for Clarity”. Professor Renfrew will argue that a point of crisis has been reached in the destruction of the world’s archaeological heritage, and that this can be met only by a general agreement not to acquire unprovenanced antiquities.

His Beacon Award Lecture in Philadelphia, “Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: the 1970 Rule as a Turning Point (or How the Metropolitan Museum Lags Behind the Getty),” will outline the ethical, intellectual and strategic response to the traffic in illicit antiquities and contrast the reactions of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Italian and Greek efforts to secure the return of looted antiquities.

As word of Professor Renfrew’s lecture topic has circulated, the Metropolitan Museum of Art elected to release its Collection Management Policy to Professor Renfrew and to SAFE. The policy document, which has not previously been available to the general public, confirms that the Museum has adopted the revised AAMD acquisition guidelines with respect to ancient artifacts. The document can be viewed on the SAFE website at and will reportedly also be available on the Metropolitan Museum website in coming days.

“This is a most welcome development,” said Professor Renfrew. “SAFE and I both applauded the AAMD’s revised acquisition guidelines in June of last year, and SAFE has campaigned both publicly and privately for the release of the Met’s acquisition policy. I will speak about these developments during my Beacon Award Lecture and discuss the matter in more detail in my New York lecture the following week.”

Professor Renfrew received his doctorate in 1965 from Cambridge University, and after professorships at the University of Sheffield and the University of Southampton, he returned to Cambridge in 1981, as Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, where he formed the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre in 1996. Having directed excavations at Sitagroi, Phylakopi and Keros in Greece and Quanterness in Orkney, Professor Renfrew has made invaluable contributions to our knowledge of language, prehistory, archaeogenetics and the radiocarbon revolution and has authored numerous books, among them, Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archaeology (2000). He has served on the Ancient Monuments Board for England and the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. “Professor Renfrew’s many achievements have made him a star in the archaeological profession and a leader in the fight against the illicit antiquities trade and the looting of the world’s cultural heritage,” says SAFE president Cindy Ho.

Events Details:
2009 SAFE Beacon Award Lecture “Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: the 1970 Rule as a Turning Point” by Professor Colin Renfrew
Saturday January 10, 2009 – 6:30 to 9:00pm
Grand Ballroom, Marriott Downtown Hotel
1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
Tickets: Before Dec. 15: $40 for non-students; $20 for students
After Dec. 15: $45 for non-students; $25 for students
SAFE members ($50 members and above): $35

“Combating the Illicit Antiquities Trade: a Time for Clarity,” a lecture by Professor Colin Renfrew
Thursday January 15, 2009 – 7:00 to 9:00pm
Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York
Admission: free of charge

About SAFE
SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that creates educational programs and media campaigns raising public awareness about the need to preserve cultural heritage worldwide. SAFE is a coalition of professionals in communications, media and advertising working with experts in the academic, legal and law enforcement communities. SAFE has no political affiliations. Visit us at

Media Contact: Paul Kunkel
Telephone: (201) 626-3460

Museum Security Network / Museum Security Consultancy

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