Each of these areas, or dimensions, has a representation in the art world. The art market represents finance and commerce, paintings and antiquities are what UNESCO refers to as types of cultural property, which has a role in foreign relations, and theft, forgeries, looting, and vandalism are types of crime that threaten the security of art. The interaction of one dimension with the others increases the influence of each on the political economy of art.
The trans-national commercial transfer of artworks increases the significance of cultural property in foreign relations, and the value of artworks motivates art crime. In turn, the political importance of cultural property increases interest in monuments as targets of political violence and influences the market value of artworks. Thefts and forgeries consequently increase the risk of investing in art, and looting of antiquities and destruction of monuments in regional conflicts expand the role of cultural property in foreign policy.
Over the past half-century the art market, the politics of cultural property, and art crime have each increased in scope and intersected with one another to create the political economy of art and culture.
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