The emergence of Dark Web markets, identification-masking software, and untraceable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have opened new doors to potential vulnerabilities to art and antiquities.
In Part I, we recapped the details of the Nancy Wiener case so far. Part II offers an overview of the legitimate and illicit art markets, and the difficulty of separating the two when it comes to the sale and purchase of antiquities.
Bilateral agreements, or memoranda of understanding (MOUs), between demand (“market”) countries and supply (“source”) countries are an effective tool in discouraging the illicit trade in antiquities. This is especially important for countries whose cultural heritage is at risk (or may soon be at risk) from armed conflict or violent extremist organizations.
Today in the State Department’s Treaty Room, both countries signed a bilateral agreement to stop the black market trade in “blood antiquities” and other stolen art, which is financing Daesh (ISIS), armed insurgents, and organized criminals throughout North Africa and the Middle East.
The Antiquities Coalition commends Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. for the January 5 seizure of a number of Classical masterpieces from the private collection of hedge fund billionaire Michael H. Steinhardt.
Sam Hardy is a specialist in the trade in illicit antiquities and the destruction of community and cultural property. You can learn more about him here.
Neil Brodie, senior research fellow in Endangered Archaeology at the University of Oxford, estimates that 80 percent of the 100,000 antiquities available online at any given moment are looted or fake due to their lack of provenance.
The Indian Ministry of Culture recently put out the Antiquities Bill, 2017, proposing, among other things, the selling and buying of heritage items and antiquities.
Law enforcement agents, lawyers, and archaeologists have warned that cultural heritage is being used as a terrorist financing tool and weapon of war throughout Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. […]
New York City is reeling from a ongoing legal battle over an ancient bull’s head—believed to have been looted by armed insurgents during the Lebanese Civil War—only to end up at the height of the Manhattan art world. To get a better understanding of the latest developments, we’re here with attorney Leila Amineddoleh.
The popularization of story lines related to ISIS, and to terrorism more broadly, has opened a new public audience to the very real threats facing our history. Threats to cultural heritage have made their way out of academic journals and policy papers and into the homes of millions of viewers around the world.
Cracking Down on Illegal Trade By Eleni Wah (Cross posted from Foreign Affairs) In 1971, a ping-pong match between the U.S. and Chinese national teams helped open relations between the […]