Trafficking Cultural Materials

It is a human tendency to preserve the tangible and intangible world for future generations. In recent months, media have once again turned their lens onto the thriving market of looted cultural objects coming into Europe and the US. The connection between this trafficking and the resulting financial income which supports terrorism has not yet been addressed. Legislation in the US and the EU suggests that trafficking is the illegal appropriation of property belonging to humanity. How can we understand the market and the financial aspects of these transactions? Who benefits from this trade? When can the trade of sculptures, coins, papyri and manuscripts be equated with trafficking and other illicit activities? What are the consequences for our shared world heritage? How does the trafficking harm "other people's" heritage, and why is this business growing?

Iris Gerlach, Douglas Boin, Tess Davis

Thursday, April 7, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Trafficking Cultural Materials - Appropriation of Mankind's Property

New York University, 1307 L St NW (Metro: McPherson Square)

Monica Hanna, Iris Gerlach, Alexander Nagel, Tess Davis

Monica Hanna, Iris Gerlach, Alexander Nagel and Tess Davis: Looting and Trafficking of Antiquities in the Middle East

Looted Goods from the Near East: Attacks on the Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Article by Dr. Iris Gerlach, German Archaeological Institute, Orient Department, Head of the Sanaa Branch

In September 2015, the US State Department announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the disruption of any trade in antiquities (and/or oil) that is benefiting ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Will such a reward be money well spent?

Article by Neil Brodie, Senior Research Fellow in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow.

Thursday, October 22, 6:30 pm

Tasoula Hadjitofi
Protecting Cultural Heritage Against the Illicit Trade of Art Trafficking

New York University, 1307 L St. NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Metro: McPherson Square)