Friday, 2 September 2011

US-Commissioned Egyptian Antiquities Emergency Red List Being Prepared


ICOM has been commissioned by the US Department of State (contract issued about June 9th 2011) to create an "Emergency Red List" of Egyptian antiquities that are under threat from antiquity thieves. It is not a list of stolen objects, but of categories of objects that are protected by Egyptian and international legislation and that are most at risk of being illicitly exported and traded.

"The publication of this Red List will fulfil the Cultural Antiquities Task Force congressional mandate [Senate Report 109-277, FY07 Appropriations Legislation] to assist international organizations to preserve and track historically and culturally significant works stolen from other countries":

"The Egyptian Red List Committee, which consists of experts from the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the ICOM, along with international and local experts, has listed a description of categories or types of cultural items that are most likely to be illegally bought and sold. [...] The list will be distributed to customs officials and antiquity art markets worldwide and should function as a sort of a checklist in order to draw border officials’ and art dealers' attentions to the illicit trafficking of artifacts. Art dealers and auction houses are encouraged not to sell any such objects without having thoroughly researched their origins, and border officials are encouraged to be more aware of ancient Egyptian objects being smuggled through. [...] The red list is expected to be announced in November. In the meantime, other international efforts are underway to stop thefts at archaeological sites".
Mette Eriksen, 'International smugglers increasingly target Egypt's artifacts', Al-Masry Al-Youm 02/09/2011.

Vignette: From the SAFE 'Say Yes to Egypt' Facebook cause.

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