The Antiquities Coalition unites a diverse group of experts in the global fight against cultural racketeering: the illicit trade in antiquities by organized criminals and terrorist organizations.
ISIS is not the only violent network to profit from this multi-billion dollar illegal industry. The looting and trafficking of antiquities is funding crime and conflict around the world. By purchasing an Egyptian papyrus, a Cambodian statue, or a Mayan vase on Madison Avenue, collectors may be putting money into the pockets of mafia syndicates, armed insurgents, and drug cartels.The destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria by ISIS has shocked the world and demands a response. In this last year, we have lost entire chapters of our shared history, and some of the Cradle of Civilization’s most iconic masterpieces and sites, to plunder and iconoclasm. This wanton devastation threatens us all: at this moment, ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and Al Qaeda affiliates are arming their campaign of terror through a growing black market trade in so-called “blood antiquities.”
This pillage for profit is erasing our past and jeopardizing our future.