Theft of antiquities has been a problem since antiquity itself, its pace has increased during the pandemic, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa – areas rich in heritage sites. As many societies remain in a forced standstill because of the pandemic, looters and smugglers are reducing ancient sites to rubble. The illegal digging for antiquities in Egypt alone more than doubled in 2020.The antiquities market is driven by supply and demand. Antiquities are sold in both legal and illegal markets. There are also grey markets, where antiquities of unknown origin or those whose documentation has been lost are being sold. How can we distinguish between the illegal and legal markets for antiquities ?