artefacts

COVID-19 linked to expected glut of stolen art for sale online, warns UN cultural agency

If you were offered the chance to buy a stunning African artefact, apparently with the blessing of the UN, what would you do?

For many people, it’s not obvious that the Organization never endorses or validates in any way, the sale of cultural treasures from any country.

In a warning to art lovers, the UN agency responsible for protecting endangered cultural heritage, UNESCO, has also said that increased pillaging of endangered World Heritage Sites during COVID-19 lockdowns, will likely result in a glut of stolen artefacts appearing online.

The development follows news of a new and sophisticated fraud ring that has been conning victims by using fake UNESCO permits.

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, explains how to avoid being taken in by this lucrative scam. 

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News in Brief 1 July 2020

  • Activist, 14, tells UN Human Rights Council to protect environment 
  • Human rights haven’t improved in Eritrea, says independent expert
  • UNESCO urges caution over fraudulent African artefacts sold in its name
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4'10"

Protection of antiquities is a global issue

The protection of historical artifacts is not just an issue during conflict, but a global concern.

That’s the view of Dr Donna Yates, a lecturer on antiquities trafficking and art crime at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

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Liberating Palmyra important to Syrian restoration

The retaking of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Syria is the first step in restoring and preserving the cultural history of the war-torn country.

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Protecting cultural heritage from terrorism: an “imperative for humanity”

It’s an imperative for humanity, to prevent the destruction of the world’s heritage by terrorists, and the trafficking of cultural treasures, said ministers launching a new partnership at the UN on Sunday.

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