Treasures Looted in War

Works of art and cultural heritage sites are common casualties in war. In many cases, the sale of plundered treasures has helped finance ongoing conflict. In this episode, two experts examine the history of conflict-driven looting. Along the way, they trace the opaque, unregulated international art market that allows irreplaceable treasures to travel from strife-torn regions to the catalogues of prestigious auction houses.

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Amr Al Azm
    Professor of History and Anthropology, Shawnee State University
  • Tess Davis
    Executive Director, Antiquities Coalition

Show Notes

The looting of art and cultural artifacts is as old as war itself—but these crimes have taken on new dimensions in the modern era. Regions destabilized by conflict are easy targets for looters and traffickers, and the profits are often directed toward sustaining conflict. Once established, trafficking networks can continue to rob a country of its cultural heritage long after war has ended. In this episode, two experts examine the recent history of conflict-driven looting, and the efforts underway to root it out.

 

Read More

 

Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed,” National Geographic

 

Congressional probe: Russian oligarchs using art to evade sanctions,” Politico

 

How Cambodia’s temples fell to looters,” Deutsche Welle

 

Dutch museums take initiative to repatriate colonial-era artifacts,” The Art Newspaper

 

Hobby Lobby’s Illegal Antiquities Shed Light on a Lost, Looted Ancient City in Iraq,” NPR

 

Illegal trade in antiquities: a scourge that has gone on for millennia too long,” The Conversation

 

Targeting Cultural Sites in War Is Illegal. It’s Also Barbaric.,” New York Times

 

7 Cultural Sites Damaged or Destroyed by War,” HISTORY

 

Martha Nierenberg, Holocaust survivor who sought to reclaim looted family art collection, dies at 96,” Washington Post

 

Watch or Listen 

 

Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict: The 1954 Hague Convention and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols,” UNESCO

 

The Scourge of Looting: Trafficking Antiquities, from Temple to Museum,” Boston University

 

The Monuments Men and preserving art during war,” Art Matters

 

Looted art in the Third Reich,” Deutsche Welle

 

Where Are The Thousands of Nazi-Looted Musical Instruments?,” Morning Edition

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