antiquities trafficking and conflict financing: the fight against looting and smuggling of cultural property goods in a global perspective of peace

This is the postprint of a published chapter on antiquities trafficking and conflict financing: the fight against looting and smuggling of cultural property goods in a global perspective of peace.

Summary

1. Conflict antiquities trafficking. – 2. Conflict, peace and security. – 3. Illicit handling of cultural goods to finance political violence. – 4. Conflict, crisis, displacement and destabilisation. – 5. Bibliography.

Conclusion [Conflict, Crisis, Displacement and Destabilisation]

Furthermore, due to global failures in civilian protection, refugee protection and migration management, asylum seekers are being compelled to use cultural assets as international currency. As well as in Syria, in Iraq (RTV MMC, 2016), Mali and Niger, antiquities and fakes are being trafficked by refugees (Dune Voices, 2015). Cultural objects flow from Mali and Niger to North Africa (Dune Voices, 2015), from Syria and Iraq to other Middle Eastern countries (Husseini, 2015; Petra, 2015; RTV MMC, 2016). Typically, ultimately, they flow to Europe and North America.
These flows intensify destabilisation through entire regions, from the original exploitation of trapped civilians and escaping refugees, to the subsidy of people smugglers and money-laundering drug smugglers along the routes, to the feeding of illicit markets. So, combating antiquities trafficking may contribute to reducing conflict, reducing crisis and increasing security. However, it must be part of a multidimensional strategy that addresses humanitarian needs, or it may cause further harm.

Citation

Hardy, S A. 2019: “Antiquities trafficking and conflict financing: The fight against looting and smuggling of cultural property goods in a global perspective of peace”. In Caracciolo, I and Montuoro, U (Eds.). Preserving cultural heritage and national identities for international peace and security, 15-26. Torino: G. Giappichelli Editore.

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