Tuesday 11 September 2012

Syria Antiquities Red List in Preparation

The International Council on Museums (ICOM) is producing an "emergency red list" detailing what kinds of archaeological artefacts are being looted in war-torn Syria to help prevent priceless treasures from being sold on the black market. The list which will contain pictures and details of the types of items that may have been looted, will be circulated to customs and police officials worldwide in the hope that it will be a useful tool for law enforcement authorities, alerting them to the types of objects they should be looking out for. This then should lead to investigations to check the actual origins of any suspicious pieces. At the moment, the situation is too "hot" in Syria to enable investigators to work out on the ground what has actually been stolen. It is believed however that in the way ICOM works, that the preparation and distribution of such a red list will take several months, so importers and dealers still have some time.

Ian Johnston, 'Emergency red list' targets Syria's looted treasures', NBC News, Sept 10 2012.

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