Thursday 5th September, 14:00 – 17:30
On Thursday 5th September ECR MEP Anna Fotyga will host an International Conference titled 'Financing Terrorism through trafficking of Cultural Goods – Closing the Gaps'. In recent years the black market in works of art has become as lucrative as those for drugs, weapons and counterfeit goods. This is due to the largely un-regulated and confidential nature of the market, permitting a major rise in trafficking of cultural goods by terrorist groups and organized crime. This has forced both legislators and law enforcement to tackle these challenges by working together to close the gaps currently being exploited across the EU. Tomorrow's conference will feature some of the leading personalities in the countering of cultural smuggling, including Col. (Ret.) Matthew Bogdanos, Assistant District Attorney of New York County and Mr. Gilles De Kerchove, the EU's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.
Given the lucrative nature of the art market, frequent manipulation of ‘provenance’, combined with deregulation, free ports, and strict confidentiality practices by auction houses and art dealers, both the physical and digital art markets have been rife with exploitation by organized crime and terrorist groups throughout Europe. This has led the smuggling of cultural goods to expand in recent years while largely avoiding detection. Panellists will discuss the experiences gained from different institutions and nations to determine which best practices can be adopted at the EU and national levels to close the existing legal loopholes currently being exploited.
Moderator - Anna FOTYGA
Marek LEMIESZ, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Polish Committee of the Blue Shields, Frmr Archaeological Expert Accredited to Polish Military Contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan
Lucie LAMBRECHT, Attorney at Law, Art Heritage Expert Tess DAVIS Executive Director of the Antiquities Coalition
Florian KREJSA Border Security and Management Unit, Transnational Threats Department (TNTD), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Following the rise of ISIL and the subsequent looting of Iraq, Syria and Libya’s cultural heritage, several branches of national and international law enforcement have increased their cooperation to thwart smuggling of cultural goods and recover stolen artefacts. In July 2018, Europol assisted Italy in recovering nearly €40 million Euro worth of archaeological goods while Interpol, World Customs Organization and various national agencies have cooperatively launched successful search and seizure operations in the last two years that have resulted in 41 000 pieces of cultural property being seized and dozens of arrests. Panelists will analyze the existing security measures in place for both national and international law enforcement agencies to determine what political, financial and operational dimensions are needed in order to successfully counter cultural smuggling in both the physical and digital markets in Europe.
Moderator Mr. Geoffrey VAN ORDEN , MEP ECR, Defence & Security Spokesperson
Mariya POLNER, Senior Policy Advisor, Enforcement and Compliance, World Customs Organization
Jan Joris VISSER, Expert in World Art, Dorotheum Tribal Art Vienna
Saad AMRANI, Chief Commissioner at the Brussels Police Department and Strategic Advisor to the Commissioner General of the Federal Police of Belgium
Corinne CHARTRELLE, Deputy Head of the Specialized ’Art Crime’ Unit of the Republic of France