More Than Just Money: Human-Object Relationships in Low-End Collecting

Diāna Bērziņa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Art crime often is viewed in terms of being profit driven. Although it is the case in many contexts, it is hard to fully justify this viewpoint in the low-end antiquities trade. The focus on high financial value portrays an art crime as a clear-cut issue, however alternative engagement spaces such as online forums provide the hint that art crime is more than just about money. This chapter presents data that was gathered during a cross-sectional analysis of Russian treasure hunting forums and discusses the main trends observed from the data and offers a glimpse into the low-value antiquities trade that takes place in these spaces. It is argued that in the low-value antiquities trade, potentially even in the wider market, financial value is intertwined with other values, it is possible to witness emergence of human-object relationships, and make a case that an object should not be only viewed as a passive thing with a price tag.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime and Art
Subtitle of host publicationSociological and Criminological Perspectives of Crimes in the Art World
EditorsNaomi Oosterman, Donna Yates
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-84856-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-84855-2, 978-3-030-84858-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

SeriesStudies in Art, Heritage, Law and the Market


  • Treasure hunting
  • Metal detecting
  • Low-end collecting
  • Human-object relationships
  • Art crime


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