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ALPHA offers spring lecture on antiquities

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ALPHA: Friends of Antiquity will present its final lecture in the spring series on April 18. Professor Ralph Burin of Harper College will present “To Whom Do Antiquities Belong? The Legal and Illegal Trafficking of Antique Art Objects?”

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Jack Arends Visual Arts Building at Northern Illinois University.

For centuries, the West has plundered the art treasures of ancient civilizations to fill its private collections and museums. In recent years, however, countries such as Greece and Italy have begun to claim their right to such ancient art treasures, and have been using legal means to have these returned. In many cases, antique objects of art such as sculptures, pottery and mosaics are being repatriated. The stakes are high because antiquities are priceless.

So, to whom do antiquities belong? To those who “rescued” them? To those who purchased them? This is a fascinating and timely subject and Burin will discuss several examples of items in question throughout his lecture.

Burin teaches in the Department of Art History at Harper College in Palatine. He has participated in a number of excavations of the Israeli Department of Antiquities at various sites in Israel including the Tomb of King Herod.

All ALPHA lectures are free and open to the public. Founded in 1971, ALPHA is dedicated to informing the public about the importance of studying ancient civilizations in the fields of archaeology, literature, philosophy, history and art. An informal dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Johnny’s Charhouse before the lecture. Call Professor Dimitri Liakos at 815-787-6478 for dinner reservations or for more information about ALPHA.

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