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Research publications on the antiquities trade

Here is a selection of some of the key works relating to my work on the antiquities trade and the looting question:

  • (with K. Butcher) ‘Mischievous pastime or historical science?’, review article of Minerva, in Antiquity 64 (1990), 946-50. [ISSN 0003-598X] [online]
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘Material and intellectual consequences of esteem for Cycladic figures’, American Journal of Archaeology 97 (1993), 601-59. [ISSN 0002-9114] [online]
  • Commentary (with C. Chippindale) on C. Morris, ‘Hands up for the individual! The role of attribution studies in Aegean prehistory’, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 3 (1993), 57-58 (pp. 41-66). [ISSN 0959-7743]
  • (with Kevin Butcher) ‘The Director, the Dealer, the Goddess and her Champions: the Acquisition of the Fitzwilliam Goddess’, American Journal of Archaeology 97 (1993), 383-401. [ISSN 0002-9114] [online]
  • ‘Publishing unprovenanced artifacts: further observations’, Electronic Antiquity 2.2 (1994). [online]
  • ‘Sotheby’s, sleaze and subterfuge: inside the antiquities trade’, review article of P. Watson, Sotheby’s: inside story (London: Bloomsbury, 1997), in Antiquity 71 (1997), 468-71. [ISSN 0003-598X] [online]
  • Review article of Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities (Los Angeles 1997), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (1998). [ISSN 1055-7660] [online]
  • (with C. Chippindale) ‘Material consequences of contemporary collecting’, American Journal of Archaeology 104.3 (2000), 463-511. [ISSN 0002-9114] [online] Supplementary tables available on-line at
  • (with Christopher Chippindale, Emily Salter, and Christian Hamilton) ‘Collecting the classical world: first steps in a quantitative history’, International Journal of Cultural Property 10 .1 (2001), 1-31. [ISSN 0940-7391] [online]
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘On-line auctions: a new venue for the antiquities market’, Culture Without Context 9 (2001), 4-13. [online]
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘The trade in looted antiquities and the return of cultural property: a British parliamentary inquiry’, International Journal of Cultural Property 11.1 (2002), 50-64. [ISSN 0940-7391] [online]
  • Review article of Pat Getz-Gentle, Personal Styles in Early Cycladic Sculpture (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2002). [ISSN 1055-7660] [online]
  • (and Neil Brodie) ‘Looting: an international view’, in L. J. Zimmerman, K. D. Vitelli, and J. Hollowell-Zimmer (eds.), Ethical Issues in Archaeology (Walnut Creek: AltaMira; Society for American Archaeology, 2003), 31-44.
  • Review of Oscar White Muscarella, The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures (Studies in the Art and Archaeology of Antiquity vol. 1; Groningen: Styx, 2000), in American Journal of Archaeology 107, 2 (2003), 285-86. [online]
  • Review of Vinnie Nørskov, Greek Vases in New Contexts. The Collecting and Trading of Greek Vases - An Aspect of the Modern Reception of Antiquity (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2002), in Culture Without Context 12 (Spring 2003), 21-23. [online]
  • (with Joan Padgham) ‘”One Find of Capital Importance”: a reassessment of the statue of User from Knossos’, Annual of the British School at Athens 100 (2005), 41-59.
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘From Boston to Rome: reflections on returning antiquities’, International Journal of Cultural Property 13 (2006), 311-31. [online]
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘From Malibu to Rome: further developments on the return of antiquities’, International Journal of Cultural Property 14 (2007), 205-40. [online]
  • Review article of Stephen L. Dyson, In Pursuit of Ancient Pasts: a History of Classical Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2006), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2007). [ISSN 1055-7660] [online]
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘The illicit antiquities scandal: what it has done to classical archaeology collections’, review article of P. Watson and C. Todeschini, The Medici conspiracy: the illicit journey of looted antiquities from Italy's tomb raiders to the world's great museums (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), in American Journal of Archaeology 111 (2007), 571-74.
  • Review of Peggy Sotirakopoulou, The "Keros Hoard": myth or reality? Searching for the lost pieces of a puzzle (Athens: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, 2005), in American Journal of Archaeology 111, 1 (2007), 163-65.
  • Review of E. Robson, L. Treadwell, and L. Gosden (eds.), Who owns objects? The ethics and politics of collecting cultural artefacts (Oxford: Oxbow, 2006); and N. Brodie, M. M. Kersel, C. Luke, and K. W. Tubb (eds.), 2006. Archaeology, cultural heritage, and the antiquities trade (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006), in Journal of Field Archaeology 32.1 (2007), 103-06.
  • (with Christopher Chippindale) ‘South Italian pottery in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston acquired since 1983’, Journal of Field Archaeology 33, 4 (2008), 462-72.
  • ‘Homecomings: learning from the return of antiquities to Italy’, in Noah Charney (ed.), Art and crime: exploring the dark side of the art world (Santa Barbara: Praeger Press, 2009), 13-25.
  • ‘Context matters: archaeological and antiquities crime’, The Journal of Art Crime 1, 1 (Spring 2009), 43-46. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘Context matters: Looting in the Balkans’, The Journal of Art Crime 2, 1 (Fall 2009), 63-66. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘Looting matters for classical antiquities: contemporary issues in archaeological ethics’, Present Pasts 1 (2009), 77-104. [ISSN 1759-2941] [online]
  • Review article of James B. Cuno, Who owns antiquity? Museums and the battle over our ancient heritage (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008), in American Journal of Archaeology 113, 1 (January 2009). [online]
  • Review of James Cuno, Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the battle over our ancient heritage (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008) and Sharon Waxman, Loot: The battle over the stolen treasures of the ancient world (Times Books, 2008), in The Journal of Art Crime 1, 1 (Spring 2009), 65-66. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • Exhibition review: ‘Nostoi: December 2007, Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome’, in The Journal of Art Crime 1, 1 (Spring 2009), 70-71. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • Exhibition review: ‘L’Arma per l’Arte. Antologia di Meraviglie, September 2009, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome’, in The Journal of Art Crime 2, 1 (Fall 2009), 95-96. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • Review of James Cuno (ed.), Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), in The Journal of Art Crime 2, 1 (Fall 2009), 99-100. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘Collecting Histories and the Market for Classical Antiquities’, The Journal of Art Crime 3, 1 (2010) 3-10. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘Context matters: Italy and the US: Reviewing Cultural Property Agreements’, The Journal of Art Crime 3, 1 (2010) 81-85. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘The Returns to Italy from North America: An Overview’, The Journal of Art Crime 3, 1 (2010) 105-09. [ISSN 1947-5934 / 1947-5926]
  • ‘The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the archaeology of England and Wales?’, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 20 (2010) 1-11. [ISSN 0965-9315] [online] With responses from: Trevor Austin (‘The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales? A Response’, 12-15), Paul Barford (‘Archaeology, Collectors and Preservation: a Reply to David Gill’, 16-23), Gabriel Moshenska (‘Portable Antiquities, Pragmatism and the “Precious Things”’, 24-27), Colin Renfrew (‘Comment on the Paper by David Gill’, 28-29), and Sally Worrell (‘The Crosby Garrett Helmet’, 30-32).
  • ‘The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the archaeology of England and Wales? Reply to Austin, Barford, Moshenska, Renfrew and Worrell’, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 20 (2010) 33-40. [ISSN 0965-9315] [online]
  • ‘Context matters. Greece and the U.S.: reviewing cultural property agreements’, The Journal of Art Crime 4 (2010) 73-76.

A full bibliography is available via here.

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During the ceremony, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the District Attorney stated:
“When looters overrun historic sites, mine sacred spaces for prized relics, and peddle stolen property for top dollar, they do so with the implicit endorsement of all those who knowingly trade in stolen antiquities” More research clearly needs to be conducted on how material handled by Becchina passed into the North American market and into the hands of private and public collectors.