Fossil Trafficking, Fraud, and Fakery

Raja Schoob NB, Dunne E (2022)

Publication Type: Book chapter / Article in edited volumes

Publication year: 2022

Publisher: Springer

Edited Volumes: Art Crime in Context

Series: Studies in Art, Heritage, Law and the Market

Book Volume: 6

Pages Range: 61-79

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-14084-6_5

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The fascination with ancient flora and fauna is a centuries-old phenomenon and is one of the main drivers of fossil crimes. Fossils have been sought by the rich and famous since the advent of colonialism, propelling development in the field of palaeontology but also in how fossils make their way through various, sometimes illegal, corridors to end up in museums and collections across the world. As demand for fossils increased in the nineteenth century, so did commercial avenues for these objects that were being sold not only to private individuals but also to scientific institutions. The most complete and visually impressive fossils in terms of size or uniqueness determine the market value of these fossils with some selling for millions of United States dollars. This has also led to the tampering or forging of fossils by many dealers in an attempt to inflate prices. While fossil crimes have been prevalent for centuries, the legal frameworks within which these crimes can be controlled or stopped are regularly challenged or even circumvented not only due to the lack of enforcements of these regulations but also due to how paleontological objects are classified in the first place as well as other legal loopholes.

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How to cite


Raja Schoob, N.B., & Dunne, E. (2022). Fossil Trafficking, Fraud, and Fakery. In Naomi Oosterman, Donna Yates (Eds.), Art Crime in Context. (pp. 61-79). Springer.


Raja Schoob, Nussaibah Begum, and Emma Dunne. "Fossil Trafficking, Fraud, and Fakery." Art Crime in Context. Ed. Naomi Oosterman, Donna Yates, Springer, 2022. 61-79.

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