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"The looting of human history has become a full-scale industry"

I have been interviewed by Robin Turner for the Western Mail: "Swansea archaeologist works to send stolen artefacts home", Western Mail May 3, 2010).
“In some countries like Italy, for example, some are literally using mechanical diggers on historical sites to rip up artefacts for sale.

“These have tended to reach auction rooms in places like New York and London via Switzerland, though the Swiss are now trying to tighten controls.

“Archaeological sites are being decimated and the few treasures taken away for financial gain lose their context. Strip them from that context and we lose dating, related objects and information about who used them.

“Presenting a looted object means that we value the object as a beautiful thing but we do not care about the society and culture that created it. And that is an uncivilised view.”
The story hangs on the recent withdrawals from Bonhams.

Paul Barford has also commented on the story.

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The scale of the returns to Italy

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Abstract
This methodological study assesses the potential for automatically generated data, netnographic data and market data on metal-detecting to advance cultural property criminology. The method comprises the analysi…