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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26/07/2018

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

Last spring, I published a quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: [an] estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods in Australia, Austria, (Flanders and elsewhere in) Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, (the jurisdictions of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland within) the United Kingdom and the United States (Hardy, 2017a).

This summer, Pieterjan Deckers (in the Netherlands), Andres Dobat (in Denmark), Natasha Ferguson (in the United Kingdom), Stijn Heeren (in the Netherlands), Michael Lewis (in the United Kingdom) and Suzie Thomas (in Finland) published a consideration of the complexities of metal detecting policy and practice: a response to Samuel Hardy, ‘quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property’ (Cogent Social Sciences 3, 2017) (Deckers and others, 2018).

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09/04/2018

antiquities, drugs and arms – organised crime, intelligence operations and dirty wars in Turkey and beyond

Returning to the “series” of posts on Turkey, I want to trace the connections between antiquities trafficking and drug trafficking, arms trafficking, organised crime and conflict financing (or other conflict facilitation) in Turkey and beyond.
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04/04/2018

antiquities dealers, Jaume Bagot Peix and Oriol Carreras Palomar, arrested on suspicion of jihadi terrorist financing by illicit antiquities dealing

On 26th March 2018, two 31-year-old antiquities dealers were arrested (detenido) and released on bail (puesto en libertad bajo fianza) in Barcelona, Spain. They were codenamed Mr. J.B.P. (or JBP) and Mr. O.C.P. (or OCP).
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03/04/2018

‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine

I’m happy to say that Public Archaeology has published my article on ‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

There is an open-access postprint copy, as well as the paywalled official publication. You can also contact me.
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02/04/2018

Operation Hieratica (Operación Hierática) update: three smugglers convicted, fined, imprisoned

Reading the news about the arrests of antiquities dealers Jaume Bagot Peix and Oriol Carreras Palomar, I was reminded of Operation Hieratica (Operación Hierática). As I blogged in 2015, Operation Hieratica was part of Operation Aureus, which was directed by the Civil Guard in Spain and the police in Cyprus, coordinated by Europol, assisted by Interpol and supported by UNESCO. Between 2nd June 2014 and 19th November 2014, there were thousands of checks and searches of people and vehicles across Europe.
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02/04/2018

Illegal finders of antiquities in Ukraine: do digital data indicate grassroots growth, coincidence, false advertising, astroturfing, trolling or sockpuppetry?

I am delighted to say that Ukrainian Archaeology – particularly Ukrainian Archaeology – has published my (open-access) study of illegal finders of antiquities in Ukraine: do digital data indicate grassroots growth, coincidence, false advertising, astroturfing, trolling or sockpuppetry?
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