How to deal with the illicit trafficking of cultural property

In collaboration with the UNESCO Chair at Ananta National University, the UNESCO New Delhi office organized a two-day workshop on ‘Loot Return – How to Tackle Illegal Trafficking of Cultural Property in South Asia’.

A two-day capacity building workshop focusing on ways to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property in South Asia opened today at UNESCO House, with an inaugural session attended by senior government officials and experts, representatives of international organizations and diplomats. Mission

Under the heading ‘Return of Loot’, and to prohibit and prevent illegal imports, exports and transfer of ownership of cultural property based on the principles of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the aim of the gathering of experts is to raise awareness of the need to strengthen. Tighten national legislation and regulation, establish greater regional cooperation, and strengthen security at museums and traditional sites.

Globally, illicit trafficking of cultural property today represents the third largest international criminal activity and is surpassed only by drug and arms trafficking. Worldwide sales of art and antiques have been recorded at US $ 50. 1 billion by 2020, experts estimate that illegal trafficking of cultural property could be up to US $ 10 billion per year individually.

According to Interpol figures, in 2020 law enforcement agencies confiscated 854,742 cultural objects worldwide, but illegal traffic and looting of cultural heritage has increased dramatically worldwide over the past decade, partly due to globalization of the market, easily. Flow of capital. Most recently, security vulnerabilities at sites and museums during the COVID-19 epidemic have also been a cause for concern.

“There is a growing recognition that indiscriminate cultural heritage originates, and that all stakeholders must work together to combat illicit trafficking. One of the tools of our decision is the 1970 UNESCO Convention, but also to significantly strengthen international partnership and regional cooperation.” New Delhi director Eric Fault said.

Among the countries most willing to cooperate on the illicit trafficking of cultural property, Fault praised Australia separately, which has returned several items in recent years and promised to return 14 more in 2022.

Speaking from Provenance Canberra, curator of the National Gallery of Australia, Bronwin Campbell spoke of his country’s commitment and desire to fight illegal trafficking of cultural property. Lily Pandeya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture also addressed the session.

The high-level workshop will be led by Amareshwar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, Infinity National University, India and capacity building and unveiling challenges and opportunities with key decision-makers and key stakeholders. South Asia.

The 1970 UNESCO Convention marks its 50th anniversary in 2020 and has become increasingly significant in the face of emerging challenges in protecting cultural heritage from theft and illicit trade. It equips the state with a framework to prohibit and prevent the import, export and transfer of cultural property, as well as to encourage its return and recovery.

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