"No one has ever advanced scientifically valid evidence demonstrating that private collecting of antiquities actually causes looting. If Mr. Barford desires to establish that point, he would be well advised to adopt an approach that demonstrates that his views are sustained by evidence conforming to the scientific method and by arguments conforming to the rules of logic."
Well, I'm not Paul Barford, but here's some scientific proof for you:
According to the article "Five pre-Columbian artifacts are back in Peru after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found the stolen artifacts were being sold on eBay."
Who does Mr. Welsh think was going to buy those stolen artifacts if not collectors? The fact that Mr. Welsh continues to deny that looting is fueled by irresponsible private collecting, despite all logical evidence to the contrary, doesn't mean that it's not happening.
The article goes on to say "The artifacts we have recovered are a significant part of the cultural history of Peru and no one should profit from smuggled antiquities,”. I agree completely! No one, whether in the US or anywhere else should profit from what is illegal activity in another country.
What the article didn't say, and I would very much like to know is what were the legal consequences faced by the owner of the ebay account that had those items listed for sale. Was that person given a slap on the wrist, as has been the case with the Blanding UT defendants so far? Or were they given a harsher sentence that would make others think before they decide to follow the same path?