Congenial bedfellows? The academy and the antiquities trade

Brodie, N. (2011), ‘Congenial bedfellows? The academy and the antiquities trade’, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 27, 411-440.

The illicit trade in antiquities and other cultural objects is socially harmful in several respects. Private collectors and museums are generally considered culpable in providing end demand by acquiring illicitly traded objects, but this article suggests that the facilitating actions of academic experts have previously been overlooked. Through a series of case studies, it examines different ways in which academic expertise is indispensable for the efficient functioning of the trade and suggests that a knowledge-based ethical environment for academic practice would allow scholars to make more informed choices about the propriety or otherwise of their involvement with the trade.