Donna Yates

Donna Yates

Archaeologist in a criminology department. I study antiquities smuggling, art crime, preservation of cultural heritage. Not your average antiquarian! Twitter: @DrDonnaYates

Location Glasgow, Scotland


  • Hoi Judy. Ik woon ook in Maastricht, en Ik ben archeoloog!

  • Hoi! Mijn naam is Donna. Ik woon in Maastricht in Sint Pieter met mijn man en mijn zon. Ik kom uit Georgia. Ik werk bij de universiteit.

  • Note, in criminal fraud cases, the financial loss/harm need not have actually occurred for some charges to apply, it just needs to be possible. It has to have occurred in civil cases.

  • I'm sorry to say that I am not following here Patrick. Fraud is a difficult thing to prosecute both criminally and civilly. In both cases, one need to prove foreknowledge and intent to deceive, and there must be a harm of some kind, which is almost always financial.

    Cases that do not have those elements are not considered fraud in most legal systems. If you...

  • There will be more on restitution in week 3 Anabela

  • Now we just need a case of stolen Bakelite collectables!

  • Great suggestions. Do check them out folks!

  • These are very good questions. What do you all think?

  • Your militaria collector needs to be careful. Playing thick rarely gets you all the way out of a civil fraud suit!

  • Dominique, you've just hit on ANOTHER type of art crime: art insurance fraud. Well done!

  • There may be slightly a lighter tone this week, but the gloom will be back next week, don't worry. Next week we have colonialism, state crime, and holocaust to deal with.

    But seriously now, I've tried to come up with 'fun' topics here since this is an introduction, but I consider the theft and destruction of any heritage to be a serious matter, but the...

  • Upgrading security is all about the money and sadly there isn't any for museums. The Museo Nacional de Antropología is no exception, I am sorry to say. There's recently been announced a major funding cut to the INAH so sadly Mexico's museums and heritage sites are going to suffer...

  • I have mixed feelings about glass over paintings too David. Here's a blog entry I wrote about that while looking at a disputed Van Gogh at Yale:

    When it comes to art security we have to decide what matters more to us: protecting the painting from harm or...

  • To each their own Christian! I'd say, however that as a man Caravaggio was pretty hopeless. Or just terrible. A terrible person. Great painter, terrible person.

  • Well in this case you are talking about a Norwegian national treasure that many people in Norway feel is an important element of their culture and heritage. It is part of Norwegian identity and an important part of it too. Many would feel that the recovery of this tangible symbol of intangible Norwegian culture (not to mention world culture) is worth it...even...

  • This is an interesting topic Gary, for many reasons that have to do with this course, particularly the types of cases we will look at in week 3.

    Because these paintings are known by different names in different languages, in cases where loss victims must establish claim to, say, a painting stolen from an ancestor by the Nazis, it is very difficult to...

  • Admittedly it is a bit unclear what the circumstances were in this case. We're going by what was publicly said, but I think we could all do a bit of speculating.

  • You're a few steps ahead of us! Mona Lisa coming up.

  • Just letting you all know, I've JUST made a new website outlining the learning options for Antiquities and Art Crime at the University of Glasgow...including this course. Take a look if you are interested:

    I had just a bit too much fun making those skull circles from Dutch 'vanitas' paintings :)

  • Both very good choices!

    Anyone for "F for Fake" by Orson Welles?

  • I think it is interesting to think of "authenticity" as having a sliding scale. In the school of vs after vs copy vs fake. We are closer or father from an ideal that is set by both our needs and by our cultural understandings of, well, reality!

  • We'll have a whole couple of steps on vandalism vs graffiti this week Sofia!

  • I wish we had more time in this course to go into laundering and white-collar art crime. It's something we focus on at a master's level (see ) but there is simply too much art crime for this short course, so to speak. Good comment!

  • And let's discuss it!

  • Donna Yates made a comment

    Great discussion everyone. I will see you all in the next week! I'll be traveling for much of the rest of the course to do training in Beirut for Syrian lawyers and heritage professionals on how to collect evidence needed to bring about the return of antiquities that have been smuggled abroad.

    For more info see :...

  • It's a dark underworld behind the glass cases, no?

  • It's very timely to be thinking about the 1906 act as it is under threat! Act now to protect your National Monuments!

  • Not exactly Kimberle, but he did have a good long run. Check out Making the Mummies Dance, his memoir about his time at the MET for some discussion on it

  • For that, Julia, I suggest reading The Lost Chalice by Vernon Silver. It's the story of the OTHER pot (or maybe it's a 3rd pot). You can get it used on Amazon for very cheap:

  • You all are ahead of the game. I talk about that issue in week 3!

  • Seems like "the way it's done" Marianne, no?

  • Never insurance, but sometimes the country of origin foots the bill, sometimes the museum returning does, sometimes the cost is shared. It's all hashed out in the return agreement.

  • Dr Tsirogiannis speaks with full Greek authority on antiquities topics :)

  • Exactly Gerard, and those ones are pretty much always labeled as such.

    Marianne, if we are talking about museums, the best way for them to obtain legal antiquities today is to do it through official exchanges and long term loans from museums in other countries. Everyone wins, everyone benefits.

    If we are talking about private collectors: well some...

  • Well, sadly I don't get round-the-clock research assistants to film me! Consider this a weekend addition to the scripted stuff. A bonus, not a bit of core material. Something different. Remember that as these were being recorded, live questions were coming in. It couldn't be scripted.

    There are two more like this so if you find the format not to your...

  • "Why" is the pertinent questions. All hows and whats lead to why.

  • Agreed Michael. Both can be found on under publications

  • I always say I ruin museums for people. Really, I love museums, I want them to be at their best for us.

  • Very true! You should check out the Shipwrecks futurelearn course. It covers looting from shipwrecks

  • Totally true. Asking the right questions can be the hardest step.

  • Next week, complication in contemporary art :) It is all complication

  • This is learning in action Harry! The goal is to make everyone to just that extra little bit of thinking.