Europa Nostra takes part in the conference “Advancing the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Goods”

As a Member of the Advisory Board of ANCHISE, an EU-funded project that aims to create a comprehensive response to the challenges faced in the protection of cultural heritage in Europe, Europa Nostra was delighted to join the conference “Advancing the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Goods” held in Brussels on 3 April 2024.

Contributing to a panel of heritage practitioners and stakeholders – along with representatives from ICOM and Europol – Europa Nostra’s Policy Advisor Ted Oakes shared the experience of the organisation in advocating for heritage. As a grassroots and civil society organisation, Europa Nostra has spent six decades raising awareness of threats, and mobilising actors to protect and support heritage. This is why Europa Nostra is proud to be a Member of the ANCHISE Advisory Board, to disseminate information from this important project and raise awareness on illicit trafficking at a national and European level.

The second day of the conference focused on the technical tools in development by the ANCHISE project to protect heritage from theft and trafficking. It was a valuable moment for in-depth conversations with heritage practitioners and to hear about their needs as well as gather valuable feedback that will allow the further improvement of these tools for the protection of heritage.

A central and recurring point of discussion over the two-day event was focused on the long-term impact of this EU-funded project, and how the knowledge gathered by the ANCHISE consortium can be used to inform policy-makers and stakeholders in the years to come. Whether through the creation of a specialised centre or agency, there was broad agreement from the organisers and participants that a more formalised structure of cooperation for the protection of heritage from illicit trafficking needs to be considered at EU level.

The first international symposium organised in the frame of the ANCHISE project, entitled “The economic and social context of illicit trafficking in archaeological artefacts”, was held in Poitiers on 8-9 November 2023. The symposium gathered 35 speakers and a diverse audience composed of heritage and legal professionals from Europe and beyond. Europa Nostra was also represented by its Policy Coordinator, Ted Oakes.

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