Issue 42 | November 21, 2012
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Trafficking in cultural property: organized crime and the theft of our past

Transnational organized crime is often associated with cross-border activities such as trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings. This link is often overlooked, however, when it comes to the issue of trafficking in cultural property. While there is evidence of a substantial amount of looting around the world, actions to combat trafficking in cultural property have so far not matched either the gravity or the extent of the crime. Despite well-established agreements and legislation by bodies such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to curb the buying and selling of illegally excavated artefacts, it is only in recent years that international efforts to tackle the role of the organized criminal networks that perpetrate this crime have come to the fore. [Read More]

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