Kate M. Burmon, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Mount Saint Mary College
"The Art Historical Consequences of Archaeological Looting and Destruction of Cultural Property"
Archaeological looting occurs when unauthorized individuals or groups illicitly dig at cultural heritage sites in order to locate valuable antiquities for sale on the black market – or even the legitimate art market. While many authors from various disciplines have written on the extensive damage this does to our understanding of ancient cultures, the influence of archaeological looting runs much deeper. In addition to affecting the ability to study these objects in the future and destroying evidence present at their origin sites, archaeological looting also has the potential to alter the art historical canon, affects the role of museums, and calls attention to issues of ownership. Just as the creation of art alters the cultural understanding of the concept, so does its destruction. While much of the current conversation has revolved around the impact of the conflict in the Middle East, it is equally vital to keep in mind that this continues to be a problem in all source countries.
Sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture
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235 Cathedral of Learning