Problems of Archaeological Heritage Protection: The Background of Crime Against Monuments and Works of Art
This article is devoted to selected issues in combating and preventing crime against archaeological heritage. The author presents basic legal provisions determining archaeological relics and defines the term “crime” in relation to them. Whilst describing basic activities of state institutions within the scope of combating this type of crime, the author initiates a discussion on insufficient staffing of police monument coordinators. The most controversial examples of prosecuting attorneys’ errors are mentioned in the discussion on certain procedural problems, which have appeared in the course of conducting penal procedures known to the authors. The issue of participation of archaeologists and museum employees in the illegal trading of archaeological relics “in good faith” was also discussed. Moreover, the authors described the problem related to the absence of efficient solutions with respect to trade in archaeological relics from illegal excavation sites outside of Poland. The article ends with a summary of combating crime against archaeological relics and a conclusion that Poland is still missing the proper determination and, more importantly, proper evaluation of these types of crime and awareness of the importance of the problem. Negative effects of criminal activities are overlooked or marginalized; it should be remembered that such activities generate nonrenewable losses.