This Encyclopedia constitutes a preliminary source of case studies that reveal aspects of the transnational illicit trade in cultural objects.

Each entry synthesizes information taken from what are considered to be reliable sources, and presents a bibliography of primary publications to facilitate further research. We endeavour to prepare texts that are factually accurate and objective accounts, and the texts are not 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. The authors endeavour to attribute any images that are used, but we should be contacted by the owners of unattributed images.

Aidonia 4 Anemon

Aidonia Treasure

The Aidonia Treasure is a collection of Mycenaean gold and jewelry returned to Greece in 1996 and thought to have been robbed from a cemetery at Aidonia in the late 1970s.


Antonine Wall

One of the few places in Scotland where unauthorised metal detecting has been recorded to have taken place is on the Antonine Wall.

Aubin Tonalamatl from Loubat 1901

Aubin Tonalamatl

A Nahuatl Codex legally exported from Mexico to France in the 19th century and stolen from the Bibliothèque National in 1982...

Image for La Paz Exhibit on qepi return 4

Coroma Textiles

Pre- and post-Conquest Aymara sacred textiles removed from the village of Coroma in the 1970s and 1980s in violation of Bolivian law.


Morgantina Silver

A silver hoard removed from the Sicilian site of Morgantina by looters around in 1979/80 which was eventually purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.