Philippine Archaeologists speak out against illicit trading in antiquities

KAPI, a community of archaeologists in the Philippines, has released a statement calling for better enforcement of heritage protection laws,  after the discovery of 22 bags of archaeological material that were looted from the vicinity of Maitum in Southern Philippines. The complete press release from KAPI was posted in the comments section here.

Archaeologists want end to illicit trading of our cultural heritage
Minda News, 17 October 2008

An association of archaeologists wants an end to alleged illicit trading of our cultural heritage as it commended the local government of Maitum in Sarangani province for vigilance in protecting artifacts whose origin, sale and transport were highly questionable.

The Katipunan Arkeologist ng Pilipinas, Inc. (KAPI) Board of Trustees, said the recent news regarding the seized anthropomorphic jars in Maitum, Sarangani “highlights a critical issue concerning the illicit trade of antiquities in the Philippines.”

“The existing laws protecting cultural heritage are good; however, they are not enforced. The seized Maitum artifacts reveal that treasure hunting continues at a brazenly large scale,” the group said.


Related Books:
Illicit Antiquities: The Theft of Culture and the Extinction of Archaeology (One World Archaeology)
Into The Antiquities Trade
Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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