Antiquity Meets the Modern Age: Ebay's Potential Criminal Liability for Fake and Stolen International Antiquity Sales
36 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013 Last revised: 4 May 2016
Date Written: 2014
Antiquities and cultural property — authentic, fake, legitimate, and stolen — have been sold internationally for centuries. The number of these sales has drastically increased with the advent of internet sales platforms. The proliferation of illicit sales has led the international community to combat them, but a quick perusal of eBay, Inc., (“eBay”) on any given day still will show thousands of questionable antiquities listed for sale. Why is this avenue of illicit trade still so prolific and why has U.S. law had seemingly little to no deterrent effect upon it? This article will focus specifically on how the United States, Germany, and France have responded to international guidelines, eBay’s responses thereto, and whether eBay could be potentially criminally liable under current U.S statutes.
Keywords: Art theft, cultural property, international antiquity sales, eBay, illicit trade in art, criminal liability, antiquities
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation