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ILLICID – Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods in Germany

Team: Wanda Otto, Steffen Pötzschke
Leader: Nicole Biedinger
Scientific unit: Survey Design and Methodology (SDM)


The research project ILLICID deals with the detection of unreported cases as a basis for prevention of crime using the example of cultural goods. The collaborative project is processed by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT. Based on a pilot study effective methods and tools for the collection, documentation and analysis of information will be developed and tested about illicit traffic in cultural goods in Germany. Considering the background of recent political developments in Iraq and Syria this study concentrates on the active trade with ancient cultural goods in the eastern of the Mediterranean area.

The function of GESIS is to realize a systematic survey of different agents which are operating in the field of cultural goods. These agents are for example departments and administrations, but also dealers, auctioneers, museums and others. Concerning this, adapted questionnaires have to be developed. Most of the surveys will be conducted online and some of the actors will be asked to give a personal interview. In order to this pretesting will be realized. Following the data collection, the data will be prepared, documented and analyzed.



Sponsored by


  • Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK, Verbundkoordination)
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie (SIT)