Véronique Chankowski (École française d'Athènes), "Illicit trafficking in antiquities: what can scholars do?"

Thursday, September 7, 2023 13:30to15:30
Peterson Hall Room 116, 3460 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E6, CA

Véronique Chankowski (École française d'Athènes), "Illicit trafficking in antiquities: what can scholars do?"

Thursday September 7, 1:30-3:30, Peterson Hall, 3460 MacTavish, room 116.

Sponsored by the Yan P. Lin Centre Research Group on Global Pasts, the McGill Classics Program, and the Papachristidis Chair in Modern Greek Studies.



Illicit trafficking in antiquities: what can scholars do?

Trafficking in antiquities is a long-standing phenomenon. Today, it has been exacerbated by the recent political and military crises in the Middle East, which have created new circuits including possible links to terrorism. The development of digital media has also increased the capacity for marketing and distribution, just as it has amplified research possibilities, making the phenomenon global. Today anyone, including academics, can be confronted with the question of an object's provenance. Archaeology, art history and other fields can be challenged by the development of looting. Yet the looting of cultural heritage cuts objects off from their context and robs societies of their history. The protection of cultural heritage, along with climate change and environment, is one of the greatest challenges of the 21th century. It is also a promising field of research, bringing together the humanities, social sciences and technologies, a security and defence issue, and an ally of citizenship and democracy by better understanding and strengthening the link between people and heritage. For these reasons, it is urgent not only to be aware of the non-renewable nature of this resource, but also to find new answers and implement pragmatic solutions to protect cultural heritage from looting and trafficking.

Véronique Chankowski is Professor of Aegean History and Ancient Economics at the University of Lyon (France), currently Director of the French School at Athens (Ecole française d’Athènes), a French research institute in Greece. She studied philology, ancient history and archaeology of the ancient Greek world and she conducted field research in Greece and Bulgaria. She is the author of numerous publications on ancient Greek society and economy and she directed several research programs, including two EU-funded Horizon 2020 projects on the protection of cultural heritage (NETCHER and ANCHISE). She also published two monographs on the history and organization of trade in Delos in the Classical and Hellenistic period: Athens and Classical Delos (2008) and Parasites of the God (2019).


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