THE hidden world of relic looting from ancient historical sites has been laid bare by a new Glasgow University study.
In the first ever empirical study of a statue trafficking network, researchers have revealed the global network of criminals needed to illegally traffic antiquities from ancient archaeological sites to museums and collections around the world.
The study by criminologist Simon Mackenzie and lawyer Tess Davis, both of the University of Glasgow, traced the figures involved along the trafficking chain, beginning with the theft of the antiquity - in this study from Cambodian temples - and ending with its sale to a legitimate buyer.
The researchers took the unique step of visiting looted sites to meet locals and identify the early links in the supply chain to the antiquities market. Previously, studies on the subject had started their research with antique dealers