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.
What Role Should Cultural Heritage Professionals Play in Monument Removal? Policy Recommendations for Cultural Heritage Professionals and International Heritage Organizations
Kate Harrell and Damian Koropeckyj make recommendations for cultural heritage professionals and international heritage organizations to assist with public monument or statue removal.
How Does Russia Exploit History and Cultural Heritage for Information Warfare? Recommendations for NATO
Daniel Shultz and Christopher Jasparro make recommendations for NATO to combat Russian information warfare.
How can cultural heritage threatened by globalization and environmental destruction be protected? Looking to the crimes against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer as a potential legal remedy.
Haydee Dijkstal examines a potential legal remedy to help victims seek justice.
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.
Lawrence Rothfield is associate professor at the University of Chicago, where he is currently directing a research initiative on illicit antiquities markets.
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.
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.
Seán Fobbe is Chief Legal Officer of RASHID International, where he leads a team of elite lawyers in their fight to secure the international rule of law, end the destruction of Iraqi heritage, and establish accountability for international crimes.
Blythe Alison Bowman Balestrieri, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Luigi Marini is Justice at the High Court of Rome, Italy. He has dedicated much of his legal career to protecting cultural heritage and countering corruption, organized crime, and terrorism.
Terry Townshend is a Beijing-based conservation and climate change expert with specific expertise on legislation, wildlife conservation and China.
Samuel Greene is a strategic consultant, earning his expertise in international affairs, immigration, security, and trade after over a decade of working at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Fionnuala Rogers is an art and cultural property lawyer and founder and director of the specialist art and heritage law firm, Canvas Art Law Ltd, Chair of the United Kingdom Committee of the Blue Shield and member of the Blue Shield International Illicit Trafficking working group.
Haydee Dijkstal is a UK Barrister at 33 Bedford Row Chamber in London practicing international criminal law and international human rights law. She is also a US attorney with over a decade of experience in international law.
Claire Buchan Parker is a veteran strategic communications professional with expertise in complex public policy and crisis communications stemming from hands-on experience at the highest levels of government and the private sector.
Dr. Jasparro is a geographer and archaeologist specializing in cultural property protection and transnational security issues on the faculty of the United States Naval War College.
Dr. Shultz is an independent researcher who analyzes the exploitation of cultural heritage for propaganda purposes by state and non-state actors.
Dr. Kate Harrell is an archaeologist working in international cultural heritage protection.