Friday, 15 April 2016

Brussels Given up on Antiquities Crime

Brussels does not give a...
The Belgian government has quietly decided to eliminate the federal police unit dedicated to fighting illegal trafficking of cultural property, part of the central directorate against serious and organised crime. This has been explained by the interior minister Jan Jambon "crime related to art and antiquities is not considered a priority". Yet Belgium is one of the transit countries for a number of dodgy-looking items from the MENA region (at least) and the venue of more than one international art fair. If you search this blog for the word "Belgium" you'll find quite a few texts referring to dodgy artefacts and dodgy practices precisely in Belgium. Copy them into Word, and you get ninety pages worth. I'd say that is a pretty good indication that if it is not being treated as a serious problem for this miniscule country around EU capital Brussels that is simply grossly negligent.

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