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Facebook’s market for illicit antiquities

How are art and artefacts from the ancient world being bought and sold through a modern platform like Facebook?

War-torn countries are having their cultural heritage destroyed with antiquities being looted and sold to generate money. In some cases, the plunder may constitute a war crime.

Instability in countries like Syria means some people are taking desperate measures to survive, but some looters have connections to criminal gangs, the Syrian government and terrorist organisations.

How has this trade moved online and what is being done to prevent the destruction of cultural heritage?
We examine the scale of the looting, how traffickers use the features of platforms like Facebook to facilitate their illegal businesses, and how the western art world could help tackle the issue.

Presenter: Mike Wendling
Reporter: Sarah Myles

(Photo Caption: An April 2019 picture of the adorned arc at the 5th century basilica in Syria's Qalb Lozeh village in the north-western province of Idlib / Photo Credit: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images)

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23 minutes


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