Stolen, sold, and destroyed

Sacred art is alive: it is a major component of the identities of living people and communities. Theft of sacred art is theft from everyone. Destruction of sacred items is profoundly destabilizing. The theft, trafficking, and destruction of sacred art is a special subset of the larger study of the movement of illicit art and antiquities. It has its own unique causes and, perhaps, its own unique solutions.

The purpose of this site is to try to understand this phenomenon better by collecting information. Find here articles and papers about the theft and destruction of the art and architecture of the world’s religious traditions and documentation of efforts to protect these sites and items.