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Russia urges sanctions against those trading in artefacts with terrorists

December 01, 2017, 0:37 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said this is envisaged by Resolution 2347 adopted in March

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© AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

UNITED NATIONS, November 30. /TASS/. Russia has urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against individuals and organizations that trade with terrorists in artefacts from Iraq and Syria.

Speaking at the Wednesday Security Council session reviewing the problem of trade in cultural artefacts, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said this is envisaged by Resolution 2347 adopted in March.

He said terrorists from Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) and criminals linked to them "use all existing loopholes for smuggling cultural valuables abroad". "For example, Russian agencies of border control have managed to confiscate an Ottoman-period encaustic tile and other Syrian artefacts stolen from the territory that was under the IS control. Otherwise, a cultural asset of that country would have illegally got into the hands of private collectors," he added.

Nebenzya said trade in artefacts goes mainly "through anonymous vendors". Besides, illegal acquisitions via the Internet have been fixed. The UN ambassador said it is difficult to control such deals, first of all due to "a problem with identifying contraband valuables".

"We would like to urge all states to promptly hand over to the Security Council committee for sanctions against IS and Al-Qaeda the data they have on sources sustaining these organizations," the diplomat said, reiterating a need to sanction individuals and organizations involved in trade in valuable cultural artefacts with terrorists.


Resolution 2347


On March 24, the UN Security Council passed the first in its history resolution aimed to protect cultural heritage. The document, approved amid destruction of historical monuments in Iraq, Syria and other states hit by conflicts, has a number of recommendations on thwarting such crimes.

In particular, it "encouraged Member States to take preventive steps through documentation and consolidation of their nationally owned cultural property in a network of ‘safe havens’".

It also urged "adopting adequate and effective regulations on export and import, including certification of provenance where appropriate, of cultural property, consistent with international standards".

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