Cultural Property Issues
Issues surrounding the protection of mankind’s cultural property have become more and more prominent in recent years. Warfare, economic development and religious and cultural intolerance are threatening our shared inheritance.
As you will know, IADAA has been highly active in campaigning to protect the legitimate antiquities trade while investigating the best means of putting an end to the illegal activities of looters, smugglers and forgers. This work involves a great deal of research, fact checking, formulating policy and opening dialogues with lawmakers, law enforcement and other bodies like NGOs.
IADAA’s chief messages are:
- The trade is as horrified by the destruction and iconoclasm as anyone else and we share a common cause in wishing to defeat it.
- The trade has more incentive than anyone else to stop the crooks because of the damage they risk causing the reputation of the legitimate trade.
- The focus should now be on Article 5 of the UNESCO Convention, which has not been adopted fully and which obliges signatory countries to protect their archaeological sites properly.
- The authorities need to base their decisions on independently verifiable evidence, not on hearsay or unsubstantiated claims in media reports.
- We will not find a workable solution unless all parties to the debate work together, including, the trade.
IADAA chairman Vincent Geerling addressed UNESCO in Paris for the second time in just over a year. Here is his speech as well as a selection of reports based on recent investigations and research by IADAA and others, including the Dutch Police War Crimes Unit, that give a clearer picture about the current situation with regards to looted cultural property and ISIS, as well as what is happening in Europe.
Unesco speech in Paris by Vincent Geerling
CINOA UNESCO speech with links 15-05-2017
Illicit trade and financing of terrorism – Centre d’Analyse du Terrorisme
Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State’s Financial Fortunes – The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, 2017
Report That Antiquities Sales Is Major ISIS Funding Source Disputed By Authorities – Homeland Security Today 07-01-201
SPECIAL ANALYSIS: Antiquities Sales Supporting ISIS Fails The Test Of Robustness – Homeland Security Today 27-02-2017
Cultural Property, War Crimes and Islamic State.
Destruction, plunder and trafficking of cultural property and heritage by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq – a war crimes perspective.
A report commissioned by the Dutch National Police, Central Investigation Unit, War Crimes Unit