WikiLoot: Crowdsourcing to ID and Recover Cultural Heritage

WikiLoot.com is a blank page. But there is a buzz on the nets about the idea that Jason Felch, co-author of “Chasing Aphrodite” is pitching to the academic and law-enforcement community. He wants to put information about stolen artifacts: police reports, unpublished photos, and research documents into a crowdsourcing data base. In an article by the Guardian, Felch was quoted as saying “It’s all raw, unprocessed data. Researchers can use it, but we also hope the public can use it to find out a bit more about what is on display at their local museum.” The database would contain information about objects looted from Europe as well as South-East Asia and South America.

Felch’s first step towards implementing the bold idea is fundraising. He is currently applying for grants and speaking to all who would find this resource of help. Some investigators are cautiously optimistic about WikiLoot, while this resource may help track down hundreds of artifacts it could also force collectors to hide their collections. 

Source: The Guardian.

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