CINOA was invited by the Council of Europe (CoE) to provide a background paper which made suggestions on how to prevent destruction and looting of cultural property which is part of the aim of the Nicosia Convention. The paper was distributed and presented at the Act for Heritage conference on October 24-26. The conference was held to update delegates on the progress of the Nicosia Convention, to identify barriers to further ratification and to encourage other states to progress towards ratification. The treaty, which replaces the Delphi Convention that was never ratified by enough parties, is the only international treaty specifically dealing with the criminalisation of the illicit trafficking of cultural property, establishes a number of criminal offences, including theft; unlawful excavation, importation and exportation; and illegal acquisition and placing on the market. It also criminalises the falsification of documents and the destruction or damage of cultural property when committed intentionally. It currently has 12 signatures and 2 ratifications (including Mexico) (5 ratifications needed of which 3 must be from CoE countries for it to come into force).
There were approximately 100 participates from member states and only a handful of non-governmental participants. We were four representatives from the art market who provided a clear analysis proving that the figures on the alleged illicit art trade are flawed and we insisted that there should be a clear distinction between the legitimate law abiding trade and criminal activities in the art secteur. We advocated that there are adequate laws already in place and efforts should focus on preserving and protecting 'in situ' cultural property. The paper and presentation are available below.
CINOA Act for Heritage Paper
CINOA Act for Heritage Presentation
Press article published in the Financial Mirror December 12, 2019:
CoE struggles to get signatories for convention on heritage theft
For more information contact the CINOA Secretariat