Greek Cypriot officials have estimated that, since 1974, ‘several dozen’ wall paintings and mosaics and ‘15,000-20,000 icons’ (Georgiou-Hadjitofi 2000: 225), and possibly ‘more than 60,000 ancient artefacts’ (Hadjisavvas 2001: 136), were stolen from northern Cyprus. The structures of the illicit antiquities trade were created before the 1974 coup and invasion. Here, I look at how the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit antiquities trade developed together between 1963 and 1974. I conclude by showing how Turkish nationalist criminal networks consolidated the illicit antiquities trade after 1974, and how Greek Cypriot archaeological policy contributed to those networks’ trade.
Hardy, S A. Forthcoming: “Destruction, theft and rescue of archaeological artefacts in Cyprus, 1963-1974: From the intercommunal conflict until the foreign invasions”. In Nys, K and Jacobs, A, (Eds.). Cypriot material culture studies: From picrolite carving to proskynetaria. Proceedings of the 8th Annual Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology Conference held in memory of Paul Åström, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) from 27th to 29th November 2008. Göteborg: Paul Åströms Förlag. Available at: https://conflictantiquities.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/hardy-2012-cyprus-illicit-antiquities-trade-intercommunal-conflict-paramilitary.pdf [postprint release date: 12th December 2012].