Working Meeting on “Model procedure for restitution of cultural objects on sale”

Recovery of stolen artefacts © Carabinieri

11 February 2014 - Room VIII, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

With the cooperation of experts and representatives from several national law-enforcement agencies, this technical meeting aims to draft a list of procedures and best practices to facilitate the recovery of stolen or illegally-exported works of art.

UNESCO Member State representatives have expressed concern over the presence of cultural objects, which have either been stolen or illegally exported from their country, in auctions and other art markets abroad.

In many countries, however, the police and the relevant governmental bodies lack the specific technical knowledge to block the sale of these objects, or the best practices to recover them.

This limitation makes it difficult to respond promptly and directly to threats to cultural heritage around the world. Accordingly, a list of procedures and best practices will help facilitate the work of police forces in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

The meeting’s participants are experts in the field at INTERPOL and in the following countries: Argentina, Burkina Faso, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

This event is organized by UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Protection Treaties Section.

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