Why there is still an illicit trade in cultural objects and what we can do about it

Brodie, N., Kersel, M. M., Mackenzie, S. , Sabrine, I., Smith, E. and Yates, D. (2022) Why there is still an illicit trade in cultural objects and what we can do about it. Journal of Field Archaeology, 47(2), pp. 117-130. (doi: 10.1080/00934690.2021.1996979)

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Fifty years after the adoption of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the illicit trade in cultural objects endures, with harmful consequences to local communities, knowledge acquisition, and archaeological landscapes and objects. In this article, we present a gap analysis to assess under-performing policy and practice. We argue that a poor understanding of how the trade is organized and operates and of how it might be regulated hinders effective policy formulation. Funding structures which encourage short-term ad hoc research and inhibit information sharing are in part responsible for some of the gaps. We conclude by suggesting how sustained theoretically informed, evidence-led collaborative analyses might help reduce or mitigate these problems, preventing another 50 years of illicit trade.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Donna Yates and Simon Mackenzie acknowledge funding received from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement no 804851). Emiline Smith acknowledges the support of the Scottish Funding Council through the Global Challenges Research Fund. Isber Sabrine acknowledges funding received from BBVA Foundation for the project La protección del patrimonio en lugares de conflicto a través de herramientas digitales: el papel de la sociedad civil. Morag M. Kersel is grateful for ongoing collaborations with Aktham Oweidi and Mohammed el-Zahran of the Department Antiquities in Jordan and for financial support from the American Center of Research in Amman and the University Research Council of DePaul University.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brodie, Dr Neil and Kersel, Morag and Yates, Dr Donna and Smith, Dr Emiline and Mackenzie, Professor Simon
Authors: Brodie, N., Kersel, M. M., Mackenzie, S., Sabrine, I., Smith, E., and Yates, D.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Field Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2042-4582
Published Online:07 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Field Archaeology 47(2): 117-130
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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