Donna Yates speaking at Yale University, 24 Nov

17 Nov 2015

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As part of the Dialogues in Heritage Science series, Donna Yates will be speaking at Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Her talk is entitled: Tracking Stolen Gods: Using criminological tools to prevent antiquities trafficking.

The lecture will be at the Sterling Memorial Library, Memorabilia Lecture Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut at 3pm on 24 November. There is no cost for attendance but you are encoraged to contact Laurie Batza ( for information.

A poster is available here.


For decades now, illicit traffic of cultural objects has been a core challenge for cultural heritage preservation. The looting of sites is destructive and the grey market for stolen antiquities is exploitative. It has been 45 years since the drafting of the 1970 UNESCO convention, yet looting and smuggling persist and the antiquities market remains unregulated. Our current cultural property regulatory system has failed and we must find out why. Since 2012, the Trafficking Culture Project at the University of Glasgow has been working to understand this regulatory shortfall. The talk will present some of the core findings of project through case studies from Cambodia and India. By going through the stages of these crimes, we will explore how the criminal networks functioned, what factors facilitated the crime, and identify ‘weak links’ in the smuggling chain where we could intervene in the future to protect other cultural objects from being stolen.