- General public
Museum Studies and the Center for the Study of Democracy present Helena Arose Project Director for the Antiquities Coalition
Indiana Jones Was Wrong About Museums: Loot, Lies and Lack of Accountability in America’s Most Trusted Institutions
Despite decades of involvement in the illicit trade of art and antiquities, museums remain highly trustworthy institutions, ranking second only to friends and family in a recent report from the American Alliance of Museums. Trust in museums has remained high throughout the 21st century.
But when it comes to collecting antiquities, museums are anything but trustworthy. Antiquities collecting practices in US museums have time and again defied the top reasons the public cites for putting their trust in museums. In fact, lies, no-questions asked acquisitions, and the display of stolen objects have been revealed as common museum practice, exemplified from cases from the early 1800s to today.