May 30, 2011

Turkish Journalist Özgen Acar Forwards Petition to Restore Funding to American Overseas Research Centers

Steep Hellenistic amphitheatre at Pergamun sat 10,000 people/Photo credit: Catherine Schofield Sezgin

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Last summer I met with Özgen Acar, a journalist based in Ankara, who has been covering the looting of archaeological sites and the sale of illicit antiquities from Turkey for decades (See "Troubled Waters" by Acar in Archaeology and "Chasing the Lydian Hoard" by Sharon Waxman at He's incredibly busy but made time to hear about the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA). A few minutes into our meeting, he answered the telephone and after a few moments, told that caller that he would be available to talk in about an hour. "That was Peg Goldberg," he told us. "I haven't spoken to her in years and I'm wondering why she is calling now."

He thought it might have to do with a book she was writing, but I never did find out why the defendant in AUTOCEPHALOUS GREEK-ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CYPRUS and THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS, Plaintiffs-Appellees, vs.GOLDBERG AND FELDMAN FINE ARTS, INC., and PEG GOLDBERG, Defendants-Appellants contacted Acar, but occasionally Acar sends out emails and this one is a request to sign the petition to restore AORC funding:
Hi folks: As you may have heard, the U.S. Department of Education has
cut many programs that support international research and study,
including the grant that supports ARIT operations in Turkey. This is a
serious situation for our programs and financial status. The Council of
American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) has put together a petition
to restore funding to the Department of Education Title VI AORC Program.
We are trying to gather as many signatures as possible to help show the
impact AORCs have had on the American and global academic community when
we fight to restore funding for FY2012. Please share this link with your
and your Centers' contacts. Please also encourage people to include
comments on their experience and connection with AORCs.
You may also be interested in reading about these programs at the American Research Institute in Turkey.