Trafficking in Cultural Artifacts

A. J. G. Tijhuis

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199844654
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbook in Criminology & Criminal Justice

 Trafficking in Cultural Artifacts

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Property Crime
  • Transactional Crime


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Cultural artifacts encompass both antiquities and works of art. Global crime related to cultural artifacts can be divided into several types. This article discusses these types and look at the nexus with other types of crime. It focuses on art crimes that involve cross-border activities. The transnational trade in stolen art and antiquities can be placed in the context of several causal mechanisms and influences. Law enforcement efforts and other policy approaches are also described. Finally, it discusses the policy implications with focus on ratification of multilateral treaties. Police agencies specializing in art theft are few in number and typically small. On the basis of the current body of knowledge about the trade in stolen art and antiquities several tentative recommendations can be offered for both public policies and research in this field.

Keywords: cultural artifacts; global crime; law enforcement; policy implications; stolen art

Article.  8362 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Property Crime ; Transactional Crime

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