Trafficking Culture is an international research consortium that produces evidence-based research into the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects.
On this site, you can keep up to date with our work as it progresses.
We encourage you to start your exploration of this topic with our Encyclopedia, a constantly evolving resource which presents introductory materials on the research topic. In it you will find numerous cases studies of famously looted artefacts, critical analysis of a relevant law, selection of methodological orientations for conducting research on the topic, and a brief introduction to criminological or social theory which may help us understand and engage with the issues. We also encourage you to visit our Publications section which contains our research output past and present and includes over 100 academic articles about the illicit trade in cultural objects.
Our researchers are based out of Victoria University of Wellington, Oxford University, and the University of Glasgow. From 2012 until 2016 this research programme was housed at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and was funded by the European Research Council.
We very much welcome communication from researchers and others interested in the topic. Please see our Contact page.
Brodie delivering keynote for conference at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, 3 Mar
18 Feb 2017
The Conference on the Ethics of Acquiring Cultural Heritage Objects is hosted by the Mudd Centre...
Christos Tsirogiannis’ looted artefact identification work featured on the Manhattan DA’s office site
18 Feb 2017
Thanks to Dr Tsirogiannis’ work, a trafficked sarcophagus fragment is returning to Greece.
Yates to speak about sacred art security in Nepal, University of Cambridge, 15 Feb
12 Feb 2017
As part of the Cambridge History of Art Research Seminar series.
Mosaic Maya Mask
Mosaic stone mask said to have been looted from a Mexican cave and now in the collection of...
Tsirogiannis, C. (2016), ‘False Closure? Known Unknowns in Repatriated Antiquities Cases’, International Journal of Cultural Property 23(4): 407–431.
Based on research into the confiscated photographic and document archives in the hands of the top...
Long Island University Hillwood Museum theft
Egyptian artefacts stolen from Hillwood Museum and sold at Christie’s...