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Christos Tsirogiannis


Current position: Head of Working Group Illicit Antiquities Trafficking of UNESCO Chair, Threats to Cultural Heritage, Ionian University

During his AIAS-COFUND Fellowship, Christos Tsirogiannis worked on the project 'Monitoring the Trade in Illicit Antiquities'

Project at AIAS

Public awareness of the importance of cultural heritage is growing. This project, drawing on Archaeology, Heritage Studies, Criminology and Law, offers a new route to reforming the antiquities trade.

By monitoring the publications and websites of companies proven to have handled illicit material from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, I will record the appearances of cultural objects in the market over the last decade. Comparing such records with ‘provenances’ given at the latest point of sale, significant omissions become apparent, and patterns in the collecting histories of unprovenanced/illicit material. All these are, importantly, proofs of malpractice created by the market itself. I will also use my officially granted access to archives confiscated from the foremost antiquities dealers of the late 20th century, to map interactions of those involved in international antiquities trafficking.

Publications and seminars in the second and third years of my fellowship will clarify aspects of the illicit antiquities trade and explore how this knowledge can be shared with research and policy communities. My research ultimately aims to suggest practical changes towards a more ethical antiquities market.

Project title:

Monitoring the Trade in Illicit Antiquities

Area of research:

Forensic Archaeology    

Fellowship period:

1 Oct 2019 – 30 Sep 2022  

Fellowship type:

AIAS-COFUND II Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754513 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.