Research Seminar

20 January 2022, 17.00, at the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome and on Zoom

Samuel Andrew Hardy

Cultural property crime and human security:
Exploring the social, political and economic dimensions of theft and trafficking of art and antiquities

This Trypillian Neolithic pot was looted in Ukraine, advertised online and sold within two weeks for twenty-nine euros. Its looter refused to sell it to buyers in the Russia-occupied territories

Understanding of cultural property crime is undermined by a dearth of public evidence, plus contradictory analyses by law enforcement agents, cultural heritage workers and antiquities market operators. These include denialist or biased accounts of terrorist financing and other forms of organised cultural property crime. However, by combining open-source research, digital ethnography and oral history, it is possible to generate new knowledge about the political economy and social organisation of cultural property crime.

Building on research into the relationship between crime and conflict, this presentation introduces a new project that will explore the relationship between crime and security more broadly. In particular, it will examine how looting and trafficking are conducted and governed, as well as how cultural property criminals and violent political extremists interact, in Eastern Europe and West Asia; and how members of socially-disadvantaged and academically-neglected communities, such as women and refugees, are involved in cultural property crime around the world. Thereby, it will advance understanding of interactions between crime, conflict, security, rule of law and development.

Dr. Samuel Andrew Hardy is a criminologist who has worked on illicit trafficking of cultural objects, political violence towards cultural property and heritage politics. A postdoctoral research fellow at the Norwegian Institute in Rome, as part of the Heritage Experience Initiative of the University of Oslo, he is researching conflict financing, organised crime and other aspects of cultural property crime around the Mediterranean and beyond.

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If you want to participate via Zoom: Please click here to register!