The Trafficking Culture project was established fours years ago today with the support of a European Research Council (ERC) grant. During those four years, it advanced our understanding of the illicit trade in cultural objects, producing foundational research, not just for the academy but for policy makers and other stakeholders. The initial ERC funding expired at the end of January 2016, but the project members are committed to continuing and extending its work.
Trafficking Culture is now an international research consortium. Its researchers (myself, Simon Mackenzie, Donna Yates and Christos Tsirogiannis), based at various institutions in the UK and New Zealand, will be working together on research projects and publications (including an upcoming co-authored book), as well as maintaining the Trafficking Culture website. We will be expanding research foci and developing new projects, all with the continuing goals of understanding the global forces that drive the illicit trade and contributing to the formation of sound, evidence-based, ameliorating policy.