Wednesday 7 October 2015

Yates on 'Theft to Order' of Antiquities

Donna Yates (Anonymous Swiss Collector 7 October 2015) reviews Sam Hardy's 'Is looting-to-order “just a myth”?' (2015, Cogent Social Sciences Vol 1 Issue 1). She concludes: "you should totally read it". 
Hardy makes a wonderful and important distinction that I hadn’t fully thought through before. He differentiates “collector-directed” robberies, which is how he defines “theft to order”, and “dealer-driven” robberies which he refers to as “predictive theft to order”. There is a fundamental difference between a collector hiring looters to loot a certain object or object type for their own private collection and a dealer sourcing certain antiquities from looters because there is probably a market for it somewhere. The core difference is the motivation for the commissioning person (the collector or the dealer) to engage in criminal activity. The dealer does it for profit. The collector does it to have the object.

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