Regulating the illegal trade in antiquities

Britain and Greece compared

Έτος πρώτης έκδοσης2024
Έτος τρέχουσας έκδοσης2024
Βάρος (g)404
Σχήμα 14 x 21


This book is about policy change in regulating the illegal trade in antiquities by way of a comparative case study between the United Kingdom and Greece – the UK being a prime example of a country that hosts the market in antiquities, Greece being a prime example of a country for whose antiquities this market trades in. The main research question is whether the theoretical perspective of globalization, modernization or Europeanization best explains policy change in regulating the illegal trade in antiquities.

My basic findings are that the regulatory change in Greece, came as a response to international developments begun with the 1970 UNESCO Convention, developments that then continued with the effect of the European Union, Greek elites having used both the Convention and EU law to legitimize policy change in the field. In contrast, developments in the UK (I will argue) had come as the result of crises such as the Sotheby’s scandal and later on the Baghdad looting of antiquities in 2003, which caused irreplaceable damage to the London art market which was based on the notion of trust. It was obvious that the London art market could not continue operating under the self-regulatory system and there was a need for clear rules. Moreover, the British Government wanted to appear as a responsible international player. That is why it enacted a new Act of Law and signed the UNESCO Convention of 1970.

This research aims to contribute in understanding policy change in regulating the illegal trade in antiquities by examining the reasons that have led to this change and the role of the involved actors. In contributing to the understanding of how the regulation of the antiquity trade has developed, this book will assist future research on the effectiveness of regulation as a policy instrument as such.


Chatzidi Sofia

Chatzidi Sofia

Dr. Sofia Chatzidi was born and raised in Vrilissia of Attica region. Her academic carrier was started with the BA in Politics and Public Administration with specialization in Public Administration, University of Athens. She then did an MA degree in the State and Public Policy. After being awarded with the Greek State Scholarship Foundation continued with the MA in Public Administration and Public Policy at the University of York, UK and then being awarded with the PhD from Cardiff University, UK. Her research is on: ‘Regulating the Illegal Trade in Antiquities: Britain and Greece compared’ where she combines politics with the notion of cultural heritage, the role of national identity and the effect of the process of modernization, globalization and Europeanization. She has taught at Cardiff University as an Associate Lecturer, then worked at the Greek Ministry of Culture. Since 2015 until now she has been teaching at the Open University of Cyprus (Affiliated Teaching Staff of the Academic Course: Police/Law and Cultural Heritage, Bachelor Degree in Police Studies, School of Economics and Management). In November 2023 she was awarded with the ‘Award of Excellence Teaching’ by the Open University of Cyprus. She currently works at the Ministry of Justice.