Wednesday 20 August 2014

Antiquities Market: 'Criminal Conduct Piggybacking on Legitimate Trade'

Rick St Hilaire, 'A Healthy Trade, A Black Market Temptation: Latest Figures Show U.S. Leadership in Art and Antiquities Exports and Imports' (Wednesday, August 20, 2014) has determined that the US is the world's leading exporter and importer of fine art, antiquities, and other cultural goods, valued at $9 billion  in 2013. Yet this market remains susceptible to criminal penetration.
The 2012 Basel Art Trade Guidelines cautioned that the market “faces a higher risk of exposure to dubious trade practices ... due to the volume of illegal or legally questionable transactions, which is noticeably higher in this sector than in other globally active markets.”[...] many [...] techniques can be used to hide criminal conduct that piggybacks on legitimate trade. [...] To peel away the black market that camouflages crimes of traffickingmoney laundering, and possibly terrorist financing requires rigorous initiatives that will shore up vulnerabilities existing within the broader white market. Industry transparency and due diligence are critical elements to any defense. Moreover, intensified law enforcement efforts directed at investigating and prosecuting cultural heritage trafficking and money laundering must be supported.
by (sincerely) responsible dealers and collectors too. Note, nobody here is calling for the "banning" of the trade, just cleaning it up. Who could oppose that?

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