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Crime Deterrence and Forensic Traceable Liquids: Impacting Illicit Antiquities Trade

12:25 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.

| Tuesday, October 18th

The multi-decade struggle against illegal antiquities trade has predominantly taken a reactive stance. The exponential rise in looting in source countries, especially in conflict and post-conflict areas like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and others, renders evident the need for developing more proactive crime deterrence and tracing approaches to be applied in synergy at supply and demand ends. However, few effective crime deterrence strategies are currently employed to curb this phenomenon. Forensic invisible traceable liquids technology is a newcomer in heritage protection, providing an object with a unique DNA-like mark, guaranteeing its traceability, increasing a certainty of being caught dealing with illicit material, and proactively tackling source and market sides of the illegal chain. Recently, forensic traceable technology was applied to mark over 573,000 non-organic archaeological artifacts in Iraq. This session will unveil the results of the empirical research that aimed, first, at mapping crime deterrence strategies employed in curbing illicit antiquities trade and, secondly, at verifying the perceived crime deterrence potential of forensic traceable technology applied to archaeological heritage. Novel empirical data will be presented that was obtained from a digitally delivered survey and individual interviews with 42 specialized formal and informal law enforcement agents in 21 source and market countries. 


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