Stolen Syrian Identity: How Art Funds Terrorism or Rebuilds Broken States

Mentor: Joe Lucchesi

Abstract: My St. Mary’s Project explores how stolen and smuggled artifacts out of Syrian war zones are funding terrorist organizations (specifically ISIS) and destroying the cultural identity of the Syrian people. In addition, I analyze methods that may help the Syrian government and museum officials retrieve looted objects post-conflict and propose a theoretical model that may assist states as they determine when and how objects should return to their source nations.