Mediterranean: Council prepares convention on traffic in cultural goods

March 3, 2016
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The Council of Europe is currently preparing a new criminal law convention on the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural goods, according to a press release issued on Wednesday 2 March 2016. The illicit traffic of cultural goods is increasingly exploited by terrorist organisations, in particular by Daech/Islamic State. Furthermore, it is linked to transnational organised crime, the Council of Europe said. The Mediterranean has long been the main victim of the looting of antique artefacts, and was also affected by the recent destruction in Iraq and Syria, which has “shed light on the vulnerability of historic and archaeological sites”.
For the Council of Europe, “the dreadful destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra, in Syria, and of the archaeological remains of Nimrud, in Iraq, has underlined the problem of ‘blood antiquities’”. The newly envisaged convention, which should be “finalised by next year”, will be “a pioneering instrument, and equally open to be signed by non-European countries”. It will “replace the European Convention of 1985 on infringements on cultural goods (also called The Delphi Convention)”, the statement said.
Intercultural Cities  – Morocco 2-3 March 2016
Intercultural Cities  – Jordan 1 February 2016

Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia