Archaeologist/curator to discuss cultural preservation March 15

March 12, 2013 | Arts, Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, — Visual and Performing Arts
By Samantha Watson

Museums provide an invaluable service to educate the public on the arts and cultures of the world, yet the artifacts collected and exhibited may have been removed illicitly from their native countries.

Dr. Richard Leventhal took these photos while conducting archaeological work on the Maya.

Dr. Richard Leventhal took these photos while conducting archaeological work on the Maya.

“Stealing the Past? Collectors and Museums in the 21st Century” will be presented Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

The lecture will be by Dr. Richard M. Leventhal, director of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and curator in the American section at the Penn Museum.

In the free, public lecture, Leventhal will talk about the need to prevent the looting of global heritage resources and the acquisition policies of museums — two of the main focuses of his professional activities.

Leventhal, who also focuses on the preservation of cultural heritage and cultural sites, has worked with law enforcement agencies internationally to stop the illegal movement of antiquities.

He will illustrate his talk with examples from his own work and several recent cases covered in the media. For more than 30 years, the archaeologist conducted field research in Central America and Mexico, and has written about the ancient Maya.

The event is sponsored by the Toledo Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, with financial support from the Kurt T. Luckner Lecture Fund and the UT Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

For more information, contact Dr. Lea McChesney of the UT Department of Sociology and Anthropology at

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