Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
In 2018, the Italian Art Squad announced the conclusion of a four-year investigation into a vast looting network that traversed five European countries. “Operation Demeter” was the largest investigation in the unit’s history. It recovered 20,000 artifacts valued at some 40 million Euros, and resulted in the arrest of 23 people. What did Operation Demeter teach us about the looting and selling of archaeological materials? Today, nearly five years onward, what happened to the people caught in the dragnet, and what has changed – if anything – in the looting landscape? This lecture is aimed at audiences with a general interest in cultural heritage and Roman archaeology, and can be adapted for a more specialized/mixed audience.