Author: Diogo Machado
Subcommittee: EPPO and Cultural Heritage Crimes
Date: 06/09/2023

Benedetta Ubertazzi and Diogo Machado, both members of the EPPO and Cultural Heritage Crimes Subcommittee, are currently participating in the ICOMOS Symposium being held in Sydney.

During the event, Diogo delivered a presentation on how the intricate connections between antiquities trafficking, terrorism and organised crime underscore the impact of heritage on sustainable peace and development goals. Diogo discussed the responsibility of government actors, particularly law enforcement officials and military personnel, in managing heritage sites and collections in situations of insecurity.

While pointing out how transnational criminal law is a valuable tool for tracing and forfeiting cultural objects used for illicit purposes, he argued that those responsible for managing such objects should approach their role in a manner that contributes to shaping communal narratives, spreading knowledge, and creating ways for the community to understand the role of cultural heritage in promoting sustainable peace and development goals.

This is an approach the new Subcommittee on the EPPO and Cultural Heritage Crimes will be taking to address the use of cultural objects for illicit purposes, drawing inspiration from best practices exemplified by institutions like the Museum for Rescued Art (Museo dell’Arte Salvata). These practices underscore the importance of the collaboration between law enforcement authorities and cultural heritage professionals. For more information, please visit:

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