13.06.2017 - Culture Sector

Key South American stakeholders join in efforts against illicit trafficking of cultural property

The third edition of the Cultural Heritage Protection Workshop was held from 6 to 9 June under the joint organization of the Argentine Federal Police Department for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage, the Argentine Nation’s Ministries for Security and Culture, Interpol and the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Montevideo. The Argentine Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich and the Chief of the Argentine Federal Police, Néstor Roncaglia attended as special guests.

The workshop (6 to 9 June) was held at the Argentine Federal Police headquarters (autonomous City of Buenos Aires) and was closed at the UNESCO Villa Ocampo Observatory (Beccar - Province of Buenos Aires). The workshop was attended by over 120 participants, among them representatives of the Argentine Customs, the Argentine Navy Coastguards, the Judicial Power and police corps from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay.  Some 40 percent of the participants were women, thus reaffirming their commitment to combating the illicit trafficking of cultural property. 

During her opening speech, the Argentine Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich highlighted that “when protecting cultural property, information and registration are very important in preventing illicit trafficking.” Increasingly, the countries of Latin America are giving more importance to this phenomenon – no longer just local but now operating on an international scale. 

The event provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge and skills on issues relating to the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

Countries such as Argentina have a police force that is highly specialized in Heritage issues. For its part, Uruguay has recently set up its National Committee to Prevent and Combat the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property, and Paraguay is currently establishing its own committee to struggle against illicit trafficking. 

UNESCO provided technical support to this workshop with the aim of strengthening networks for cooperation between police specializing in the cultural heritage and other strategic stakeholders and training about international instruments geared towards combating the illicit trafficking of cultural property (particularly the UNESCO 1970 Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention). Its purpose is also that of generating awareness on the importance of this phenomenon in the region. 

 In the framework of the activity, both the Minister of Security and the Chief of the Federal Argentine Police, Néstor Roncaglia, confirmed their support for the campaign  #UnidosXElPatrimonio"




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