Archive for ‘Illicit Antiquities’

19/11/2018

prosecutors and prosecutions in antiquities trafficking cases in Turkey: uncertainty in information, uncertainty in rule of law

As BBC News correspondent Mark Lowen has explained, the citizens of Turkey are both ‘addicted to conspiracy theories’ and ‘besieged by “fake news”‘. The problem is worsened by government-aligned ‘fake fact-checkers’, while it is resisted by sincere truth-seekers such as the citizen journalists of Teyit (Confirmation or Verification).

While news about cultural property crime in Turkey is blighted more by churnalism than by propaganda, like everything else, it is burdened by uncertainty of information and uncertainty of rule of law. This is demonstrated by the career of one prosecutor, who has hit the headlines once more.

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15/11/2018

I have just started a senior visiting fellowship at UCL Qatar

You wait eight years for a fellowship, then two come along at once. I’m pleased to say that, between November 2018 and February 2019, I’ll be a senior visiting fellow at UCL Qatar.

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11/09/2018

a response to a response to a response on metal-detecting and open-source analysis

Pieterjan Deckers, Andres Dobat, Natasha Ferguson, Stijn Heeren, Michael Lewis and Suzie Thomas have posted a response to a response to a response on metal-detecting and open-source analysis. Pieterjan submitted it on the 26th of August 2018, but it triggered the spam filter; because it had been filtered as spam, I wasn’t notified that it had been submitted. Thankfully, Pieterjan e-mailed me this morning and I found out what had happened. It is online now.

23/08/2018

I am going to be a post-doctoral fellow in cultural heritage and conflicts at the Norwegian Institute in Rome, University of Oslo

Despite lingering anxiety that it might be Russian propaganda, as it has been announced on Facebook while the vacancy is still visible on the website, it is not fake news. I am absolutely delighted to say that, for three years from early 2019, I will be a post-doctoral fellow in cultural heritage and conflicts at the Norwegian Institute in Rome, University of Oslo [Det Norske Institutt i Roma (DNIR), Universitetet i Oslo (UiO)]. I’ll share more in due time, but here’s the official announcement:

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15/08/2018

antiquities trafficking in the digital age

In World Politics Review, anthropologists Amr Al-Azm (@alazmamr) and Katie Paul (@AnthroPaulicy) have previewed their ongoing investigations into the Middle East’s other Facebook revolution: antiquities trafficking in the digital age, where looters, sellers and buyers are exploiting social networks such as Facebook and smartphone apps such as Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp, as well as online platforms such as eBay, Etsy and LiveAuctioneers.

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14/08/2018

methods for analysing the relationship between antiquities looting and armed conflict and unmasking the sale of illicit antiquities on the dark web

Alongside my study of the potential and limits of digital data, netnographic data and market data (which is summarised in another blog post), there are two other articles that explore the potential and limits of open-source research, in a special issue of Arts on advances in art crime research. One addresses analysis of factors that affect, and are affected by, cultural property crime; the other addresses investigation of online trafficking.

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14/08/2018

metal detecting for cultural objects until ‘there is nothing left’: the potential and limits of digital data, netnographic data and market data for analysis

As part of a special issue on advances in art crime research, open-access journal Arts has published my study of metal detecting for cultural objects until ‘there is nothing left’: the potential and limits of digital data, netnographic data and market data for analysis.

I would particularly like to thank the peer-reviewers for enduring and Arts for publishing an exceptionally long piece, which presents the arguments over the methods, the raw data for the methods and some tests of the methods in one place. So, now, everything is available for reuse and reassessment.

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09/08/2018

a very preliminary review of destruction, trafficking and politics of heritage in social media of Russian trolls

troll factories: the Internet Research Agency and state-sponsored agenda building

Identified members of a Russian state-linked propaganda outlet, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), are being prosecuted for participating in ‘a sophisticated and coordinated campaign to sow disinformation and discord into American politics via social media’, ‘interfering in American electoral and political processes’. Journalist Jim Galloway has captured the logic of much of the activity: ‘let’s you and him fight’.

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06/08/2018

technical updates to legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases

Just in case feed-readers don’t otherwise see, I’ve made some technical updates to the post on legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases.

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04/08/2018

legal threats by convicted criminals (and family members) against expert witnesses in antiquities cases

On the 26th of July 2018, a court in Greece judged that Despina Papadimitriou and Dimitri Papadimitriou were guilty of “embezzlement of monuments” or “misappropriation of monuments” (υπεξαίρεση μνημείων) in the Schinoussa case, which originated in an investigation into trading by Papadimitriou family relative Christo Michaelides. When convicted, Despina and Dimitri were given suspended sentences of four years’ imprisonment.

On the 27th, forensic archaeologist and expert witness Christos Tsirogiannis was sent a letter by Bird and Bird LLP, the legal representatives of deceased Christo Michaelides’s sister Despina Papadimitriou, nephew Dimitri Papadimitriou, nephew Alexander Papadimitriou and niece Angeliki Papadimitriou (the Papadimitriou family).

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