The antiquity art market: between legality and illegality
Purpose – The paper aims to present both the legal and illegal aspects of the market in antiquities, specifically cultural objects which are transported from source countries to countries where they are sold or auctioned. Design/methodology/approach – The paper starts by defining the concept of antiquity and then examines the origin of objects, those involved in the market in different capacities, the question of how the origin of objects is examined, and the scope of the market. A number of examples are given as illustrations. Findings – The analysis shows how many different participants are involved in the market globally. Views on how well the provenance of an object needs to be established and on what is cultural theft are changing. However, structural and cultural characteristics of the market mean that it remains difficult to penetrate and is susceptible to organised crime. Research limitations/implications – Space and legal constraints mean that only a few examples can be given and a small number of routes examined. Originality/value – This is one of the first global examinations of the criminality of this type of market.
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