Facts & Figures

The illicit trade in antiquities is not the world’s third-largest illicit trade: a critical evaluation of a factoid

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2023, a report by academic archaeologists Dr Neil Brodie and Assistant Professor Donna Yates is showing the earliest known example of this bogus claim dating back to 1974.


It is an astonishing fact that the overwhelming volume of data used to promote the idea of the art market as a haven for international crime is bogus. Of equal concern is the fact that it is the authorities themselves – from law enforcement to law makers – who often propagate this bogus data, giving it the credence it does not deserve, and so clearing the way for it to influence policy. The result is that vital time and resources are spent on inflicting serious damage to legitimate
interests while overlooking significant problems that need attention. These reports provide primary source evidence to show this, as well as explaining how and why this happens.

IADAA FACTS AND FIGURES, THE COMPLETE 25 PAGES with links to all primary sources.

In case you are especially interested in certain topics, please find below the separate chapters.

June 2023