Who Owns Antiquity?

Jul 20, 2017

Hobby Lobby recently paid a $3 million fee for illegally buying smuggled ancient Iraqi artifacts.

This hour: What is the relationship between collecting antiquities and the looting of them in countries that are experiencing violent conflicts and societal breakdown? Do Western museums and collections have a role to play in saving at-risk antiquities?

And then: A look at two projects at Yale documenting information about cultural heritage sites in Syria -- what does it mean to be a steward of knowledge about a place that may no longer exist?

This show is the ninth part of a new experiment: Radio for the Deaf. Watch a simulcast of signers from Source Interpreting interpreting our radio broadcast in American Sign Language on Facebook Live.


  • Leila Amineddoleh - An art and cultural heritage attorney; professor of art and cultural heritage law at Fordham University; professor of art crime law at NYU
  • Lisa Brody - Associate curator of ancient art at the Yale University Art Gallery, and curator of its Dura Europos exhibit
  • Amr Al-Azm - Associate professor of Middle East history at Shawnee State University; former director of Scientific and Conservation Laboratories at the Department of Antiquities and Museums in Syria
  • Stefan Simon - Director of the Global Cultural Heritage Initiative at Yale; inaugural director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale

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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.