International Illegal Trade of Smuggled Antiques Workshop

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Washington, D.C.
Tue, Mar 14, 2023

On Wednesday, March 8, the Embassy hosted a workshop under the title ‘‘International Illicit Trade in Smuggled Antiquities". It was organized in cooperation with the Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII) and discussed: illicit trafficking of smuggled antiquities from countries of Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia; discussing ways to reduce such crime which causes great damage to the cultural heritage of countries, through cooperation between competent authorities to follow up recovery of antiquities in countries whose antiquities are subject to smuggling, such as Iraq, Egypt, Yemen and others, in addition to countries that are used as corridors for smuggling such as Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore; facilitating communication of specialists in the field of protecting antiquities and cultural heritage with their counterparts in the United States, with the aim of shortening procedures related to the recovery of smuggled antiquities and blocking dealing with them in global markets. It was decided to hold other meetings between relevant authorities in order to provide a guide of procedures that must be taken by countries whose antiquities are subject to smuggling as well as required procedures that should be carried out by authorities of countries to which the smuggled antiquities are transferred, such as the United States, Britain and Germany, in a way that facilitates the tracking process of smuggled antiquities and their return to their home countries.

The workshop was attended by representatives of: US Department of State, Central Investigation Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Government Museums Foundation (Smithsonian), in addition to legal specialists and representatives of Embassies of (Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Italy, Oman, and Switzerland) in the United States. In conclusion, law enforcement authorities asked that meetings to be held periodically with the aim of exchanging information and identifying the obstacles facing all parties in their work so as to be overcome through appropriate solutions.