Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-nmvwc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-18T19:55:22.283Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The F Words: Frauds, Forgeries, and Fakes in Antiquities Smuggling and the Role of Organized Crime

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2018

Konstantinos-Orfeas Sotiriou*
Affiliation:
Department Against Antiquity Smuggling, Greek Police (Athens Office); Email: Orfeas.k.sotiriou@gmail.com

Abstract:

The phenomenon of antiquities smuggling is a complicated issue. The lack of official data makes it difficult to do an integrated analysis of the problem. The aim of this article is to present an accurate view of antiquities smuggling in the recent past. After gaining official permission from the Greek police, we examined 246 official arrests made by the Greek Department against Antiquities Smuggling (Athens Office) that occurred between 1999 and 2009. First and foremost, our results revealed that many arrests showed instances of fake antiquities. Moreover, it seems that there is a connection between organized crime and antiquities forgery. In addition, people with higher status are more often involved in antiquities forgery. With respect to the stolen objects, coins were by far the most preferred objects when it comes to forgery, and forgers are also using mostly bronze when it comes to these forgeries. Antiquity looting seems to have many hidden aspects, and the varied natured of antiquities smuggling requires the cooperation of a range of competent authorities and an in-depth investigation of the data, which should be based on the principles of the scientific method.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Cultural Property Society 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Blake, J. 2000. “On Defining the Cultural Heritage.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 49, no. 1: 6185.Google Scholar
Brodie, N., and Kersel, M.. 2012. “The Social and Political Consequences of Devotion to Biblical Artifacts.” In All the King Horses: Essays on the Impact of Looting and the Illicit Trade on Our Knowledge of the Past, edited by Lazrus, P. K. and Barker, A. W., 109–25. Washington: Society for American Archaeology.Google Scholar
Brodie, N., and Renfrew, C.. 2005. “Looting and the World’s Archaeological Heritage: The Inadequate Response.” Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 343–61.Google Scholar
Butcher, K., and Gill, D. W. J.. 1993. “The Director, the Dealer, the Goddess and Her Champions: The Acquisition of the Fitzwilliam Goddess.” American Journal of Archaeology 97: 383401.Google Scholar
Calvani, S. 2008. “Frequency and Figures of Organized Crime in Art and Antiquities.” In Organized Crime in Art and Antiquities: Selected Papers and Contributions from the International Conference on Organized Crime in Art and Antiquities, edited by Manacorda, S., 2962. Milan: International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council.Google Scholar
Campbell, P. 2013. “The Illicit Antiquities Trade as a Transnational Criminal Network: Characterizing and Anticipating Trafficking in Cultural Heritage.” International Journal of Cultural Property 20: 113–51.Google Scholar
Craddock, P. 2009. Scientific Investigation of Copies, Fakes, and Forgeries. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
Dyson, L. S. 2012. “Moot Loot Speaks: Classical Archaeology and the Displaced Object.” In All the King Horses: Essays on the Impact of Looting and the Illicit Trade on Our Knowledge of the Past, edited by Lazrus, P. K. and Barker, A. W., 4353. Washington, DC: Society for American Archaeology.Google Scholar
Elkins, N. T. 2012. “The Trade in Fresh Supplies of Ancient Coins: Scale, Organization, and Politics.” In All the King Horses: Essays on the Impact of Looting and the Illicit Trade on Our Knowledge of the Past, edited by Lazrus, P. K. and Barker, A. W., 91107. Washington, DC: Society for American Archaeology.Google Scholar
German, S. 2012, “Unprovenienced Artifacts and the Invention of Minoan and Mycenaean Religion.” In All the King Horses: Essays on the Impact of Looting and the Illicit Trade on Our Knowledge of the Past, edited by Lazrus, P. K. and Barker, A. W., 5563. Washington, DC: Society for American Archaeology.Google Scholar
Gibson, M. 2008. “The Looting of the Iraq Museum in Context.” In Catastrophe: The Looting and Destruction of Iraq’s Past, edited by Emberling, G., and Hanson, K., 1318. Oriental Institute Museum Publication no. 28. Chicago: Oriental Institute.Google Scholar
Gill, D. W. J., and Chippindale, C.. 1993. “Material and Intellectual Consequences of Esteem for Cycladic Figures.” American Journal of Archaeology 97: 601–59.Google Scholar
Gill, D. W. J. 2015. “Context Matters: From Palmyra to Mayfair: The Movement of Antiquities from Syria and Northern Iraq.” Journal of Art Crime 13: 7380.Google Scholar
Mackenzie, M. R. S. 2005. “Dig a Bit Deeper: Law, Regulation and the Illicit Antiquities Market.” British Journal of Criminology 45: 249–68.Google Scholar
Meyer, E. K. 2005. “The Sack of Mesopotamia.” World Policy Journal 21, no. 4: 9193.Google Scholar
Proulx, B. B. 2013. “Archaeological Site Looting in ‘Global’ Perspective: Nature, Scope, and Frequency.” American Journal of Archaeology 117, no. 1: 111–25.Google Scholar
Renfrew, C. 2008. “The Keros Hoard: Remaining Questions.” American Journal of Archaeology 112, no. 2: 295–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renfrew, C., and Bahn, P.. 2001. Αρχαιολογία: Θεωρίες, Μεθοδολογία και Πρακτικές Εφαρμογές. (Μετάφραση Ιουλία Καραλή-Γιαννακοπούλου). Athens: Kardamitsa.Google Scholar
Sotiriou, K.-O. 2018. “New Insights in the Antiquities Illicit Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean.” In Proceedings of the 10th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. 25–29 April 2016, edited by Horejs, Barbara et al., 1729. Vienna: Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2018.Google Scholar
Tiverios, Μ. 2014. Πλαστές αρχαιότητες και παραχάραξη της ιστορίας: η περίπτωση ενός εικονογραφημένου μοναδικού ελάσματος. Athens: Μορφωτικό Ίδρυμα Εθνικής Τραπέζης.Google Scholar