Home 2018-12-17T08:27:23-07:00

The United Nations warns that cultural racketeering, the looting and trafficking of art and antiquities, is a multi-million dollar illegal industry that funds crime, armed conflict, and violent extremism around the world. However, when compared to similar transnational crimes, from arms running, to drug smuggling, to the illicit wildlife trade, there is much we still do not know. The demand for strong scholarship in this field is greater than ever.

The Antiquities Coalition Think Tank is filling this gap by bringing high-quality, innovative, and results-oriented research to the world’s decision makers, especially those in the government and private sectors. We join forces with international experts to better understand the challenges facing our global heritage, while developing better solutions to protect it. We invite you to learn more below. 

The Latest

Antiquities Coalition Policy Note: Taking the First Step Toward Ending Illegal Antiquities Trafficking

A relatively easy-to-negotiate, yet underutilized, bilateral diplomatic memorandum of understanding can empower governments to stop cultural heritage trafficking and protect transparent, legal markets.

How to Successfully Fight the Illicit Trade in Stolen Art and Antiquities in Asia? Remove an Antiquated English Law from Hong Kong’s Legal System

Our latest policy brief by Steven Gallagher analyzes how Hong Kong’s laws and regulations can be improved to prevent trafficking of art and antiquities.

Antiquities Coalition Wins Prestigious Recognition As A Top Global New Think Tank

The Global Go To Think Tank Index, published annually by the University of Pennsylvania, has honored the Antiquities Coalition as one of the “Best New Think Tanks of 2017.”


The Antiquities Coalition unites a diverse group of experts in the global fight against cultural racketeering, the illicit trade in art and antiquities. This plunder for profit funds crime, armed conflict, and violent extremism around the world, erasing our past and threatening our future. Through innovative and practical solutions, we fight cultural racketeering head-on, empowering communities and countries in crisis.

One way we do this is through our Think-and-Do-Tank, launched in 2016. We partner with leaders in archaeology, business, law, security, and technology to conduct high quality research and put 

its lessons into action. Initially, the think tank will focus on policy briefs, concise and targeted documents that tackle critical and urgent issues. Importantly, these documents go beyond just describing the problem, and provide solution-oriented recommendations for addressing it. Subsequent think tank series will include case studies, examining preservation successes (or failures) and the lessons learned, as well as best practices papers. 

Together, these outputs help governments, law enforcement agencies, the private sector, and other decision makers better understand the challenges facing our heritage, while developing better solutions to protect it. 


Ricardo St. Hilaire
Ricardo St. HilaireCultural Heritage Lawyer

Ricardo “Rick” St. Hilaire, Esq., CIPM is an attorney whose legal practice emphasizes cultural heritage, nonprofit, criminal, museum, and international law.

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Lawrence Rothfield
Lawrence RothfieldUniversity of Chicago

Lawrence Rothfield is associate professor at the University of Chicago, where he is currently directing a research initiative on illicit antiquities markets.

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Neil Brodie
Neil BrodieUniversity of Oxford

Neil Brodie is a Senior Research Fellow on the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

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Steven Gallagher
Steven GallagherChinese University of Hong Kong

Steven Gallagher is an Associate Professor of Practice in Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with expertise in property law, cultural heritage law, and legal history.

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