The Refugee Crisis is About Us | Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow

was born in 1957, the same year China purged more than 300,000 intellectuals, including writers, teachers, journalists and whoever dared to criticise the newly established communist government. As part of a series of campaigns led by what was known as the anti-rightist movement, these intellectuals were sent to labour camps for “re-education”.

Because my father, Ai Qing, was the most renowned poet in China then, the government made a symbolic example of him. In 1958, my family was forced from our home in Beijing and banished to the most remote area of the country – we had no idea that this was the beginning of a very dark, long journey that would last for two decades….

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The Robust International Antiquities Trade: the Law, Smugglers, thieves, Prestigious Auctions, ISIS, Animals. And some Renowned Museums too.

Elgin Marbles | Detail

USA |

[At the Kansas City, Missouri, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in August 2013, a woman brought in what was probably a seed pot that was made by the Anasazi, a Native American pueblo people who lived near present-day Four Corners — the region where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona come together. The pot was most likely made between 1000 and 1300 A.D. — clearly making it an important piece historically — and according to expert Anthony Slayter-Ralph was worth between $3,000 and $4,000 in the retail market.

But this pot, like many other Native American objects, raised an important question often asked by owners and collectors of Native American objects: What should be done with prehistoric and other Indian objects that you may possess, and when is it okay to buy or sell them?] Indian Artifacts: Understanding the Law | PBS

Also, An Exclusive Look at the Greatest Haul of Native American Artifacts, Ever | The Smithsonian Magazine

Also, ICE Cultural Heritage Repatriations 

Europe |

[A few years ago, Christos Tsirogiannis was looking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online collection when he had a flash of recognition. While studying an ancient Greek krater—a clay vase used for mixing wine—something “suddenly clicked,” he says. The vase was decorated with a painting of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. “I knew that I had seen the subject on that krater before,” he says.

A forensic archaeologist affiliated with the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Tsirogiannis has access to restricted databases containing tens of thousands of photographs and documents seized during raids. Searching through the online archives, he found five photos of the Met’s Greek krater among items confiscated from Giacomo Medici, an Italian antiquities dealer convicted in 2005 of receiving stolen goods and conspiracy to traffic looted antiquities.

So why was an object that may have been dug up and sold by looters on display at a famous American museum, and how did it get there?] Museum Goers Beware: That Ancient Artifact May Be Stolen | National Geographic

Middle East and ISIS |

[What isis hates, it destroys, and ancient artifacts are no exception. To erase pre-Islamic history, it has employed sledgehammers and drills at a museum in Mosul, explosives at Palmyra, and all of these weapons, plus jackhammers, power saws, and bulldozers, at Nimrud. In one video, a fighter explains that isismust smash “these statues and idols, these artifacts,” because the Prophet Muhammad destroyed such things after conquering Mecca, nearly fourteen hundred years ago. “They became worthless to us even if they are worth billions of dollars,” he adds. So, at the Met, many were puzzled when Andrew Keller, a soft-spoken senior official at the State Department, unveiled newly declassified documents proving that isis maintains a marginally profitable “antiquities division.”] The Real Value of the ISIS Antiquities Trade | The New Yorker

Efforts |

[A Memorandum of Understanding was inked by the United States and the People’s Republic of China on January 14, 2009. The five-year agreement outlines a number of steps designed to stem the flow of illicitly excavated or exported artifacts from China to the U.S. (click here for legal background).] Archaeological Institute of America

U.S., Egypt Sign Agreement to Thwart Trade in Illegal Antiquities | National Geographic

Also…

Latin America |

[Mexico has had poor results in recuperating stolen cultural antiquities. There are deficiencies in both the registration of these thefts and a lack of coordination among the authorities to preserve the items.

The trafficking of items of cultural heritage is an activity that cuts across countries, and connects antique dealers and politicians in Buenos Aires to narcos in Guatemala, to collectors in Mexico, to diplomats in Peru and Costa Rica. This special, involving five journalistic teams, reveals the illicit international market for objects stolen from temples, public museums, and private collections. An initiative of OjoPúblico, this was produced by an alliance of news teams including La Nación (Costa Rica), Plaza Pública (Guatemala), Animal Político (México) and Chequeado (Argentina).] Only a Fraction of Mexico’s Stolen Cultural Antiquities Are Recovered | Insight Crime

Also… Illicit Cultural Property from Latin America: Looting, Trafficking, and Sale | SocArXivs

India |

[Indian Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma’s recent admission in parliament that eight cases of antiquities theft were reported from State-protected monuments and museums across three states over the last year, has yet again brought to the fore the fraught issue of pilferage and smuggling of art treasures from Indian shores.

According to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based advocacy group, illegal trade in paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts is one of the world’s most lucrative criminal enterprises, estimated at $6 billion a year. And India, with its redoubtable cultural heritage, bureaucratic apathy, and tardy implementation of antiquities protection laws, offers pilferers fertile ground to plunder the past and spirit away booty worth billions for sale in the international bazaar.] Smuggling India’s Antiquities | The Diplomat

 

Non-Human Animals as Commodities, Tradition, and the Cancellation of the Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival

“In the Mao era, the Communist Party condemned pets as a byproduct of bourgeois decadence.”

“I personally think dog meat is like alcohol. They are both components of our ancient Chinese culture.”

“The tradition of feasting on dogs originated when Hu Dahai, a rebel battling Yuan Dynasty rulers in the 14th century, ordered all the dogs in Jinhua to be slaughtered because their barking had warned rebels in the city.”

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The Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival, as it is called, was abruptly canceled last week after local officials were shamed by an online campaign begun by animal rights advocates. Gruesome photographs taken at past festivals that show canine carcasses, some bloody and others cooked, circulated on Chinese microblogs, creating popular pressure against the festival, which was set for October.

Full article: After Online Campaign, Chinese Dog Meat Festival is Cancelled (The New York Times)

1 CHINESE DOGS

Organ Harvesting, China and the Falun Gong

[Since the crackdown began in 1999, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been arrested and detained. Researcher Ethan Gutmann estimated that at least 15 percent of the population incarcerated in labor camps for the purpose of “re-education” is made up of Falun Gong practitioners. These findings are supported by the US State Department. According to human rights groups, detainees have been subjected to forced labor, torture, arbitrary execution and organ harvesting. In 2009, The New York Times reported that “at least 2,000” people had been killed since the crackdown began…..

During a Falun Gong rally in Taiwan in 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists’ killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps. China recently placed the outlawed group at the top of its list of terrorist organizations, despite no history of violence against others….]

Read the full story here | LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

Falun Gong | WIKIPEDIA

Why is Falun Gong Banned? | NEWSTATESMAN

Organ Harvesting in China | New York Post

 

 

NO

China: Official “Dog Beaters” Beating People’s Pet Dogs To Death

Official Dog Beaters went door to door and beat to death pet dogs in Shijazjuang, a city near Beijing. Even licensed pet dogs were slaughtered. Dogs could be heard wailing across the city as they were systematically massacred by groups of dog beaters, armed with bamboo poles, leaving distraught owners sobbing over their butchered pets’s bloodied remains. Photographs are from July 2014.

Read the article and watch the video here | ENVIRONMENTALIST

AADOGS

Believe it… or Not

China Bans Believers, Doubles Down On Atheism | The WORLDPOST

[Leadership of coastal Zhejiang province has declared it will double down on a long-standing but little-enforced rule that bars religious believers from joining the Party.

That move comes amid a widely reported tightening of the ideological screws in Chinese universities and across the media landscape. Professors across the country have reportedly been fired for speaking against the Communist Party, and the country’s education minister declared last week that China should “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes.”]

Believe

When Wheel Men Fall out of Favor | Unfriending the Dalai Lama

It’s the third time in five years that South Africa has refused to allow Dalai Lama into the country out of deference to Beijing. Russia has also shut the Dalai Lama out repeatedly. But there are also some very surprising nations cowing to China.

Take the United Kingdom. In May 2013, when Prime Minister David Cameron met with the Dalai Lama, even after Beijing warned him not to. China cut off diplomatic relations, and Cameron’s administration spent a year working to get back in Beijing’s good graces. William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, promising that the British government was “fully aware of the sensitivity of Tibet-related issues” and would “properly handle such issues on the basis of respecting China’s concerns.”

An almost identical scenario played out in 2010 between China and Denmark, and, until South Africa’s visa decision, the most recent diplomatic row over the Dalai Lama took place in another Scandinavian country beloved for its openness, tolerance, and social welfare: Norway.

That’s right. When the Dalai Lama visited Norway in May 2014, government officials allowed him to enter the country but refused to meet with him.

(Read the full article here) NoOne Likes the Dalai Lama Anymore | Global Post

Dalai_Lama