Showing posts with label European Union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label European Union. Show all posts

July 14, 2017

EC Proposal on Plundering, Smuggling and the Importing Illicit Cultural Heritage in the European Union

Image Credit: European Commission Audiovisual Services



If adopted by the EU's 28 member nations and by the European Parliament, the measures would enter into force in 2019.  

Reinforcing the powers of customs authorities the commission’s plan focuses on:
  • A common EU definition for 'cultural goods' at importation which would cover objects such as archaeological finds, ancient scrolls, the remains of historical monuments or artworks that are at least 250 years old at the moment of importation.  This material would be divided into two principal categories:
        --archaeological objects, parts of monuments and ancient manuscripts and               books,

        --goods such as artwork, collections, and antiques.
  • A licensing system for the import of these object classes which would require importers to have obtained import licences from the competent authorities in the EU before importing objects into the EU.
  • Applying a more rigorous certification system by submitting a signed statement or affidavit as proof that the goods have been exported legally from the third country.
  • Customs authorities having the power to seize and retain goods when it cannot be demonstrated that the cultural goods in question have been legally exported.
  • Increasing public awareness, specifically targeting those who both trade in and purchase cultural goods as their personal or economically driven desire to own ancient art, frequently fails to put emphasis on an object’s origins or legality during the purchasing decision making process. 
All this sounds good in concept, but implementing future regulations and then enforcing them is another thing.  

New Regulations, but the ability to inforce them? 

According to 2016 annual trade data on art and antiques, sales at auction and through private sales and by art and antique dealers for classical antiquities in Europe were estimated at $66.7 million, larger than the U.S. market ($51.56 million).

In contrast Belgium's federal police unit dedicated to fighting illegal trafficking of cultural property, once part of the central directorate against serious and organised crime, made up of five persons in 2006, was reduced to two investigators and then quietly eliminated in 2016. 

Per a recent email in London, a city where one of the Europe's busiest antiquities art markets resides, the city's Art & Antiques Unit of SCO7, with the Metropolitan Police has been operationally suspended since June 19, 2017 in light of the recent incidents in London.  The unit's automated email reply states the unit has been redeployed for three months and they are therefore unable to accept any new enquiries at this time, adding "we hope to be back in the Autumn."

ARCA hopes so too. 

April 8, 2012

Statistics on European Art Crime

by Dr. Ludo Block, Senior Investigator at Grant Thornton Forensic & Investigation Services Netherlands

When Poland held the European Union (EU) Presidency in the second half of 2011, Art Crime formed one of their priorities in the field of police cooperation. Among other things, this resulted in Council Conclusions on preventing and combating crime against cultural goods, which were adopted by the EU Council on 13 December 2011.

The Polish Presidency coordinated efforts in the Law Enforcement Working Group of the EU Council to collect statistics on Art Crime and the law enforcement responses on Art Crime in different EU member states. The table below shows some of the data collected, i.e. the number of offences between 2007 and 2010 as recorded in 20 of the 27 EU member states. The exact definitions of 'Art Crime offences'  of course differ between the EU member states, but the data does give some insight in the trends. Additionally, these data have not been previously collected and published together.

Number of Art Crime offences 2007-2010 in 20 European Union Member States:


Year
EU Member State

2007

2008

2009

2010
Austria
131
125
113
missing data
Belgium
229
223
252
175
Bulgaria
206
164
204
191
Cyprus
8
7
10
14
Czech Republic
370
639
1527
954
Denmark
57
62
50
82
Estonia
8
9
8
7
France
2714
2223
1751
1442
Greece
75
87
72
91
Spain
443
432
489
543
Netherlands
missing data
missing data
missing data
831
Lithuania
15
13
14
12
Latvia
46
(171 items stolen)
94
(222 items stolen)
79
(204 items stolen)
100
(318 items stolen)
Malta
9
8
9
6
Germany
2003
2265
2055
missing data
Poland
1132
776
814
804
Portugal
164
233
200
159
Slovakia
24
25
26
29
Slovenia
28
55
42
66
Italy
1085
1031
882
817
TOTAL
8747
8471
8597
6323


August 26, 2011

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring 2011: Ludo Block on "European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview

Retired Dutch police officer Ludo Block writes on "European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview" in the fifth issue of The Journal of Art Crime (Spring 2011). This is Mr. Block's abstract:
The academic literature in the field of cross-border policing tends to concentrate exclusively on the high-level crimes -- drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking -- that are so often the focus of transnational police cooperation in criminal investigations. There are, however, many other types of transnational crime, including the often neglected art crime, which may represent the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, outranked only by drug and arms trafficking. Drawing on existing literature and interviews with practitioners, this study provides a comparative overview of the policing efforts on art crime in a number of European Union (EU) member states and examines the relevant policy initiatives of the Council of the EU, Europol, and the European Police College. It also addresses existing practices of and obstacles to police cooperation in the field of art crime in the EU. The study reveals that EU police cooperation in this field occurs among a relatively small group of specialists and that -- particularly given the general lack of political and public attention -- the personal dedication of these specialists is an indispensable driver in this cooperation.
Ludo Block is a senior investigator at Grant Thornton Forensic & Investigation Services in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Previously he served over 17 years with the Netherlands' police and held senior positions in the Amsterdam police. Between 1999 and 2004 he was stationed in Moscow as the Netherlands' police liaison officer for the Russian Federation and surrounding countries. Ludo holds a Masters in Social Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he currently is finalizing his PhD (Public Administration) on European Police Cooperation.

You may purchase this issue through subscription through ARCA's website or through Amazon.com.