"Greater International Cooperation to Tackle Illegal Trafficking of Artefacts"

(Italy; Rai.TV, Tg3)
June 14th, 2013

Behind every missing masterpiece there is an international mystery, a mystery that sometimes can be best solved for example: an exhibition of stolen archeological findings at Castel Saint’ Angelo in Rome, found after years of complex investigations and finally returned to the society.

International Art Traffic is a huge business: 6 billion Euros a year in the world, second only to weapons and drugs traffic: figures presented during the first symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Rome.

Over the last two years 11 000 archeological findings have been found in our country, stolen and recycled in the auctions all over the world; Half of the thefts take place in churches, hundreds every year, but abroad this business particularly involves countries at war today: Iraq in the early 2000 and Syria nowadays; priceless treasures that disappear in chaotic conflicts.

Rutelli: “Europe needs to become a promoter of a political-cultural force that preserves the safety of it’s cultural heritage, where is becoming threatened, so we suggest the creation of an international fund in order to use our Italian technicians, technologists, archeologists, restorers, which are among the best professionals in the world and send them to those places where maintaining the heritage is not safe for the sake of humanity”.