Saturday 26 April 2014

The Antiquities Trade as Organized Crime

Christiana O'Connell-Schizas ('Cyprus: Antiquities bust in Aphrodite’s city' ARCA blog, April 16, 2014):
 It is widely accepted that the vulnerabilities in the antiquities trade has presented the opportunity to make a profit through organised crime. Art. 2(a) of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime 2000 defines organised crime as being: “[a] structured group of three or more persons... acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences... to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” The following subsections go on to define 'serious crimes' and 'structured group', but it evident that the group  that was caught in 2010 fits the UN definition. There are various definitions for organised crime. The UN's definition is broader than say that of the FBI's to include crimes such as antiquities, which are not necessarily motivated by money. They also do not need to be in a formal organisation but must have committed criminal not civil offences.
Vignette: Organized crime.


kyri said...

hi paul,very interesting read,personally i dont think it is as organised as you think in cyprus.cypriot pots dont demand the higher prices that organised criminals would be a child i remember visiting relatives up in the mountains and many households had a small collection of pots.they were considered worthless and even now a nice cypriot stamos would only get a few hundred pounds retail hardly worth smuggling but im sure some people would still take the risk of smuggling even if its only for a few thousand pounds.i suppose these low end antiquities are much easier to sell,they pop up in group lots at auctions all the time with very dodgy provenances.over the last two decades there has been a house building boom and im sure many people accidentally found tombs ect the sad thing is the majority of people would rather not say anything to the authorities in case the find is of major significance and their house building is put on hold.

Paul Barford said...

Well, this is not me, it's a quote from a longer article that caught my eye and seemed worth highlighting.

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