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Donna Yates

Michigan State University Campus Visit

October 24th – 28th, 2016

Donna Yates is a Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. She will be visiting MSU from October 24th-28th, offering a public talk on the 26th and a graduate student workshop on the 27th.

Dr. Donna Yates

Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime

Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Glasgow

Website: Property of an Anonymous Swiss Collector
Twitter: @DrDonnaYates

Donna Yates is a Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. An archaeologist by training, Yates is based out of a criminology department and is one of the founding members of the Trafficking Culture research consortium which conducts evidence-based inquiry into the global illicit trafficking of cultural objects. Her research broadly focuses on social aspects of antiquities trafficking, art crime, and related cultural property issues. Yates has recently held a Leverhulme Fellowship and a Core Fulbright Award to study the on-the-ground effects of high-level cultural policy in Latin America and her current work involves security for and protection of sacred art in Latin America and South Asia. Her research and other open research materials can be found on her ever-growing collection of websites, including,,, and

The Public Talk

Wednesday, Oct 26th – 7:00pm
International Center, room CIP115

Culture Crime: Investigating Global Antiquities Trafficking

Our past is beautiful and it is fragile. Tombs are robbed, temples are looted, and the past is destroyed, all to feed the international market for antiquities. Yet after decades of public concern, professional action, and policy response, we’re still struggling with this threat to our collective heritage. As new holes continue to appear at archaeological sites and as recently-smuggled antiquities continue to enter collections around the world, we need to reflect on what we’re doing wrong and develop effective ways to  investigate the looting, trafficking, and illicit sale of antiquities.

“In this talk, I will present two recent antiquities smuggling case studies (Cambodia and India) which display the global reach and structure of the illicit trade in looted artefacts. I will also show how approaches borrowed from criminology, sociology, and anthropology can be applied to these cases to develop effective new measures for protecting heritage. For the past 4 years, the Trafficking Culture research consortium has worked to tackle some of the open questions about antiquities crime in hopes of coming up with policies that truly protect the past. We believe that illicit antiquities research informed by criminology can produce actionable insight into these global criminal network.”

The public talk will be on Wednesday, Oct 26th at 7:00pm in the International Center, room CIP115. The talk will also be streamed here, and will be available to view here after the event has ended.

The Graduate Student Workshop

Thursday, October 27th – 12:00pm to 2:00pm
McDonel Hall, room C103

Are ‘collectors the real looters?’ Does demand cause illicit supply? What policies are in place to control the actual market for antiquities? Learn more at the graduate student workshop!

Header Photo by Donna Yates