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Joint project with the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) “The illegal trade in cultural-heritage artefacts in Germany” (ILLICID)

ILLICID is a collaboration of arts scholars, information- and social scientists, cultural authorities and security agencies. The overall objective of this expert collaboration is to develop, document and implement best-practice tools and procedures for shedding light on the murky area of illegal trading in cultural artefacts in Germany.

In an explorative pilot study, focussed on the sub-area of black-market traffiking in ancient cultural artefacts from the eastern Mediterranean, as much data as possible will be collected about the objects traded, the scale of the trafficking, the parties involved, their networks and routine operations, and, in particular, the potential for money-laundering. The latest political developments in such countries as Syria, Iraq and Egypt have led to an unprecedented intensification of the problem in the eastern Mediterranean, which has witnessed the systematic and comprehensive destruction of cultural assets, above all through illegal excavation and plunder. ILLICID is being conducted in collaboration with the GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology.


Project Director: Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert
Funding / Project partner: ILLICID is being conducted in collaboration with the GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology.