Assessing the illegal trade in cultural property from a public policy perspective

by Siobhan Ni Chonaill, Anais Reding, Lorenzo Valeri

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to explore new ways of curtailing the illegal trade in cultural property. Despite a range of legislative and policy interventions, the trade in illicit art and antiquities continues to flourish, resulting in damage to the arts, scholarship and heritage. Through an exploration of existing intervention tools, two case studies and a set of key informant interviews, this study demonstrates the existing difficulties in curtailing the market in cultural property and explores the potential for new policy interventions. More specifically, we map the supply chain for the illegal trade in cultural property and explore the failures of current policy interventions through two case studies, the Medici trading cartel and the Beit collection robberies. We conclude with a number of research and policy conclusions.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The illegal trade in cultural property

  • Chapter Three

    The Medici case

  • Chapter Four

    The Beit robbery

  • Chapter Five

    Research conclusions

  • Chapter Six

    Policy recommendations

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The research described in this report was prepared for the RAND Europe Board of Trustees and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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