Never Would I Ever: Are Collectors Really Duped into Buying Fake or Looted Antiquities?

Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, recently told The Atlantic that “I would never intentionally buy anything forged or stolen.” Green’s passion project is the Museum of the Bible, and he has directly or indirectly funded many of their purchases. These purchases now include, as The Atlantic details, nearly twenty ancient papyrus fragments stolen from Oxford’s Egyptian Exploration Society. Add those to the 5,000 looted papyri Green has already returned to Egypt and the nearly 10,000 cuneiform tablets and other antiquities he had to admit were…

Insider Theft from Libraries and Archives

Art by Howard Hardiman

Beware of researchers bearing cupcakes. Historic documents thief Barry H. Landau made friends with the staff of the archives he targeted by bringing them baked goods. Then, while pretending to conduct research in their reading rooms, he slipped documents into the deep pockets he sewed on the inside of his sports coats. In 2011, investigators found more than 10,000 stolen archival items in his apartment, including documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, a letter from Benjamin Franklin, and reading copies of President Roosevelt’s inaugural addresses — one stained with water from the steady rainfall during his 1937 ceremonies.

It’s terrifyingly easy…

“A Yes Doesn’t Mean Yes If You Can’t Say No”

Art by Maria Ma

This article is part of Philomela’s Tapestry, a series designed to address issues of harassment in the fields that study Greco-Roman antiquity.

The gaps between the bricks of the campus’ sidewalks flayed the leather off the heels of my first pair of grown-up pumps. I couldn’t afford to ruin more shoes, so I mastered a type of geisha walk, tottering forward with small steps, balancing on the balls of my feet, my head bowed.

But on the day the Professor first told me to come to his office, I forgot to look where I was going. My heel plunged into…

Erin L. Thompson

America's only full-time art crime prof. As seen on CNN, NPR, NYT, etc.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store