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.


Fakes and Forgeries

A fake is something that purports to be what it is not.

Fano Bronze

Fano Bronze

The Fano Bronze is a bronze statue currently owned by the J. Paul Getty Museum (Victorious Youth, 77.AB.30) but subject to an Italian claim for repatriation.

Archive File register. Photo by moi

Freedom of Information Requests

Freedom of Information requests can be made to release into the public domain information about the traffic in cultural objects.

Forged Skopas head from the Getty Museum

Jiri Frel

Jiri Frel was curator of antiquities at the J.Paul Getty Museum between 1973 and 1984, and was associated with several irregularities regarding museum acquisitions.