Encyclopedia

This Encyclopedia constitutes a preliminary source of information on various aspects of the transnational trade in cultural objects. It comprises an inter-linked collection of short entries, grouped together and organized according to the headings Case Studies, Theory & Method and Terminology. They are further sorted by Place and by Subject.

Each entry synthesizes information taken from what are considered to be reliable sources, and presents a bibliography of primary publications to facilitate further and more in-depth research. The authors endeavour to prepare texts that are factually accurate and objective accounts, and the texts are not therefore indicative of an author’s personal opinion.

The Encyclopedia is a work in progress, and new entries will be added (and current entries updated as appropriate) as time permits. It is intended primarily as a resource for academic research into the trade, but has also been assembled with provenance research in mind, and should appeal to a broader constituency of interested readers. The authors endeavour to attribute any images that are used, but we should be contacted by the owners of unattributed images.

hillwood-museum-head

Long Island University Hillwood Museum theft

Egyptian artefacts stolen from Hillwood Museum and sold at Christie’s...

wang-chuzhi-panel

Wang Chuzhi Tomb Panel

Marble relief panel stolen from Chinese tomb in 1994 recovered from Christie’s New York in 2001. 

Lysippan Zeus

Lysippan Zeus

A small bronze statue of Zeus stolen from Rome’s National Museum of Italy in 1980 was sold at Sotheby’s New York on 9 December 2004. 

tomb-of-murtis-relief-fragment

Tomb of Mutirdis Relief Fragment

Stolen Egyptian tomb relief recovered from Bonhams in 2008.

marcus-aurelius-head

Marcus Aurelius head

Marble head stolen from Algerian museum recovered from Christie’s New York in 2004.

saqqara-duck vessel

Saqqara Royal Duck Vessels

Two stolen alabaster duck vessels returned to Egypt in 2008, one from Christie’s...

Grolier Codex from Ruvalcaba 2008

Grolier Codex

A Maya codex of questionable authenticity that appeared on the market in 1971.

Aden Museum_NAM 42=AM 729

Dat-Hamin Stele

Stolen South Arabian stela returned to Yemen by Phoenix Ancient Art in 2004...

Dou Figurines

Empress Dou Figurines

Figurines stolen from Tomb of Empress Dou returned to China by Sotheby’s in 2003.

Bijbels Museum Egyptian items

Bijbels Museum theft

Egyptian artefacts stolen from the Bijbels Museum in Amsterdam and returned by Christie’s New York...