“The museum will buy them as usual,” Brody says with a wink. “No questions asked.”
These days, archaeologists work hard to present themselves as protectors, not plunderers. After unconfirmed reports of widespread looting of artifacts from tombs and storage facilities in Egypt during the uprising there, the archaeology community is on high alert, warning Interpol, border agents, and art dealers and merchants to look out for Egyptian treasures.
Despite such efforts, experts say that stolen loot will inevitably surface on eBay, at auction houses and, yes, even in reputable museums. The global system of tracking antiquities is simply too porous, the demand for ancient baubles too high.