Posts tagged ‘Syria’

24/06/2020

trafficking of forgeries by forced migrants and forced migrants as false provenances for forgeries

While I was piecing together English-language evidence of looting and trafficking of antiquities by internally-displaced persons and internationally-displaced persons, I looked at Turkish-language evidence, too. For a variety of reasons, it shed most light on trafficking of forgeries by forced migrants and supposed purchases from forced migrants as false provenances for forgeries.

From the very beginning, it must be borne in mind that only around one per cent of all suspected cultural property criminals in Turkey do not have Turkish nationality (cf. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Adli Sicil ve İstatistik Genel Müdürlüğü, 2019: 46 – table 2-13). Irresponsible discussion is dangerous discussion. Still, there is cultural property crime by non-citizens; it is bound up with conflict and crisis; and it is being discussed irresponsibly, through ignorance and malice. None of that can be addressed by silence.

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02/04/2020

fuelling of an illicit market and financing of political violence in Syria, feeding of propaganda around the world

In the course of expanding a study (into two studies) of the practice of “rescue”-by-purchase of looted antiquities, I traced out a case, that I mentioned before in the context of fake conflict antiquities, that intertwined destruction and looting in Syria; behaviour of law enforcement agencies in source and transit countries and businesses in market countries; the politics and economics of the war in Syria; and propaganda within Syria, across the region and around the world.

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22/08/2019

in the line of fire: cultural heritage in hybrid warfare – occupation, destruction, trafficking, espionage and propaganda

At the seminar on archaeology in occupied territories and in zones of armed conflict, I (Сем Харді) explored cultural heritage in hybrid warfare – occupation, destruction, trafficking, espionage and propaganda.

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05/08/2019

immoral, failed refugee policy in Europe and subsistence trafficking of fake antiquities by asylum-seekers from North Africa and West Asia

When I was discussing subsistence trafficking of cultural objects by asylum-seekers with students of the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, I was reminded of a case from 2015, when Mesopotamian-style figurines were found in a tent (šotorov) at a reception centre (sprejemnem centru) for refugees (begunce) in Gruškovje, Slovenia. When they were found, they were believed to be ‘Sumerian statues of great historical value that could have been 4,500 years old [sumerske kipce velike zgodovinske vrednosti, ki bi lahko bili stari 4.500 let]’.

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04/07/2019

online trafficking of cultural objects from crisis zones and conflict zones and open-source analysis of the illicit trade

Thanks to the support of the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology (Nordisk Samarbejdsråd for Kriminologi), I was able to participate in their Research Seminar on Crime, Crime Control and Criminology in the Digital Era in Helsingør, Denmark, on the 8th-10th May 2019.

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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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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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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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01/03/2018

every story about Turkey has everything: fake conflict antiquities trafficking, drug trafficking and conflict financing

While I was collecting evidence of the markets for (fake) conflict antiquities that are trafficked from and through Turkey, journalist Cristina Maza reviewed the allegations by Turkey that former CIA agent Graham Fuller was involved in the 2016 coup attempt and observed that ‘this story has everything’. I noted that every story about Turkey has everything. Here, I try to trace historical connections between trafficking of fake conflict antiquities, trafficking of other illicit commodities and financing of politically-motivated armed groups.

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