This chapter addresses antiquities trafficking in four sections: the nature and extent of the harm; the structure of antiquities trafficking (considered in terms of source, transit and demand); regulation and control; and finally a discussion about antiquities trafficking as business enterprise. The historical and economic harm of antiquities trafficking is explained, and the market is examined as grey, in that looted objects are fed into legitimate supply chains in the public marketplace. The structure and main players in the antiquities market are discussed, including looters, dealers, collectors, auction houses and museums. Current systems of regulation include international treaties, domestic property and criminal laws, self-regulatory codes, and campaigns that focus on public awareness. The final section of the chapter details the techniques of neutralisation and processes of denial that characterise the way ‘business talk’ permeates the antiquities market, providing a narrative structure of justification and excuse of harmful behaviour that focuses on the benefits of international trade, private property ownership, and entrepreneurial dealing.
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