The antiquities market: it's all in a price

Brodie, N. (2014), ‘The antiquities market: it’s all in a price’, Heritage and Society 7(1): 32-46.

Antiquities have cultural and economic value. Scholarly experts create cultural value, and by creating cultural value they also unintentionally establish economic value. So although antiquities are collected as culturally-important objects, they have also been bought for investment purposes as tangible assets, though with mixed results. Collectors and investors must face the problem of how to assess accurately the cultural and economic value of an antiquity, though again the intervention of scholarly experts is crucial. Scholars themselves benefit financially from even indirect involvement with the antiquities market, and their work can be appropriated and exploited financially as intellectual property. Antiquities trading is often illicit, and in such conditions profits made from the antiquities market are proceeds of crime, though that fact is generally overlooked.