Culture Crime: Investigating Global Antiquities Trafficking
Our past is beautiful and it is fragile. Tombs are robbed, temples are looted, and the past is destroyed, all to feed the international market for antiquities. Yet after decades of public concern, professional action, and policy response, we’re still struggling with this threat to our collective heritage. As new holes continue to appear at archaeological sites and as recently-smuggled antiquities continue to enter collections around the world, we need to reflect on what we’re doing wrong and develop effective ways to investigate the looting, trafficking, and illicit sale of antiquities.
“In this talk, I will present two recent antiquities smuggling case studies (Cambodia and India) which display the global reach and structure of the illicit trade in looted artefacts. I will also show how approaches borrowed from criminology, sociology, and anthropology can be applied to these cases to develop effective new measures for protecting heritage. For the past 4 years, the Trafficking Culture research consortium has worked to tackle some of the open questions about antiquities crime in hopes of coming up with policies that truly protect the past. We believe that illicit antiquities research informed by criminology can produce actionable insight into these global criminal network.”
For more details and a livestream of the event, visit: http://yates.anthropology.msu.edu/