Loot: The Global Antiquities Market | Newberry

Loot: The Global Antiquities Market

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Wednesdays, February 26 – April 2

2 – 4 pm

Led by Donald McVicker

Despite all international efforts, the illicit antiquities market continues in full force. Looting has intensified with the political crises in the Middle East and pillaging of treasured relics continues on all continents at a pace that cannot be overlooked. Through lectures and discussion, we will examine the legal, political, economic, and ethical issues highlighted by the illegal trafficking of ancient artifacts and the battles over repatriation, particularly in Mexico, the Middle East, Europe, the Andes, and the United States. For the first session, please read the preface and introduction of Cuno’s Who Owns Antiquity.

Donald McVicker holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is a Research Associate at the Field Museum and is associated with the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Materials List
Note: Due to the limited availability of these texts, please remember to call the Newberry Bookstore in advance at (312) 255-3520.


  • Cuno, James – Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage. ISBN-13: 9780 6911 48106
  • Messenger, Phyllis – The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property (2nd Edition) ISBN-13: 978-0826321251. Note: the Newberry Bookstore is unable to stock this text.

Supplemental Readings:

  • Atwood, RogerStealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World (focus on Peruvian looting). ISBN: 0312324065
  • Emberling, Geoff and Kathryn HansenCatastrophe: The Looting and Destruction of Iraq’s Past. ISBN 13: 978-1885923-56-1.
  • Fine-Dare,Kathleen – Grave Injustice: The American Indian Repatriation Movement and NAGPRA (Fourth World Rising). ISBN 13: 978-0803269088.
  • Waxman, Sharon – Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World (case studies of four major museums (The Louvre, The Metropolitan, The British, and the Getty). ISBN-10: 0805090886

Readings for the First Session (NOTE - THIS INFORMATION HAS CHANGED):

  • The “Preface” and “Introduction” from James Cuno’s Who Owns Antiquity

CPDU credit for this course is available for Illinois teachers seeking recertification.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and Registration Information 

Six sessions, $200.
Register Online.