Tuesday 8 April 2014

Criminologists: unlocking legal and illicit art trade

Not seen yet, but recommended by Peter Campbell, text by three criminologists from Department of Criminal Justice/ Center for Criminal Justice Research, California State University:

Gisela Bichler, Stacy Bush and Aili Malm, 'Bad actors and faulty props: unlocking legal and illicit art trade' Global Crime Volume 14, Issue 4, 2013, pp. 359-385:
Abstract If as suspected, criminal enterprise feeds off legal trade, then anti-crime policy must target the points at which legal and illicit markets intersect. This study offers a strategy to pinpoint and calibrate the degree of fusion across an entire trade system. Legal and illicit processes and mechanisms essential to all sectors of an industry – development, financing, handling, possession and regulation – were dissected using a script methodology. Eigenvector centrality scores identified interlocking tools and actors. The results highlight the role played by supporting industries (e.g. insurers, auction houses, storage specialists, foundations and high net-worth buyers) and the need to target temporary markets, shipping activity and financial transactions with regulatory policing efforts. Vaccinating global economies from illicit activity is best achieved through a soft law approach aimed at identifiable mechanisms (faulty props) used by groups playing pivotal trade roles (bad actors).
It strikes me that collectors and their lobbyists are accustomed to labelling their worst enemies "archaeologists", when in fact in recent years the lead has increasingly been taken by criminologists. That makes it rather difficult for the lobbyists to address however as it involves admitting the possibility that parts of the trade interlock with criminal activity. So my bet is they are going to pretend not to have noticed that their profession is now under intense scrutiny by criminologists. Are you "observing" this Mr Tompa?

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