Since 1990, as country after country throughout West Asia and North Africa has fallen victim to civil disturbance or conflict, its cultural heritage has been looted to feed the demand of an international antiquities market. International public policy has failed to achieve any kind of hold on the problem. This paper looks at the reasons for policy failure, with a particular emphasis on recently implemented policy initiatives intended to safeguard cultural heritage in Syria. The paper is critical of the relationship between traditional and social media news reporting and policy making. It concludes by arguing that attempts to safeguard cultural heritage at its source are inappropriate for the task at hand and more needs to be done to tackle demand on the destination market.
Neil Brodie graduated from the University of Liverpool with a Ph.D. in Archaeology in 1991 and has held positions at the British School at Athens, the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, where he was Research Director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre, and Stanford University's Archaeology Center. Since February 2012 he has been Senior Research Fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, at the University of Glasgow, where he is researching the criminology and economics of the antiquities market as part of the ERC-funded Trafficking Culture project. He has worked on archaeological projects in the United Kingdom, Greece, and Jordan, and continues to work in Greece.
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