Tuesday 14 June 2022

Theft at the Museo Andino

On 5 June 2022 more than 80 pre-Columbian items of cultural property were stolen from the Museo Andino in the Buin area of Chili:
"UNESCO calls upon professionals and the public involved in the trade of cultural property to intensify their vigilance and refrain from acquiring or taking part in the import, export or transfer of ownership of these items of cultural property, pursuant to the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970), ratified by Chile in 2014."
It seems rather optimistic to expect dealers and collectors to start thinkng about these issues now, fifty years on from the Convention. In order to prevent looting and theft, there needs to be a coordinated campaign by heritage professionals in a united front to generate utter public condemnation of the trade and collecting of improperly obtained and unpapered portable antiquities to make people turn away from them and those involved in these practices.

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