Heritage trafficking a tiny percentage of illegal trade

Monday 5th October 2020 at 19:08

The latest World Customs Organisation annual report on transnational crime shows heritage crime (which includes illicit antiquities trafficking) is so minor compared with other risk categories globally that it barely registers on Customs’ radar. In fact cultural property crime accounted for only 0.22% of investigations and only 0.2% of customs seizures reported by the World Customs Enforcement Network for 2019,

Art Market analyst Ivan Macquisten, formerly Editor of the Antiques Trade Gazette, analyses the latest WCO figures here.  This shows that the frequent claims that there is a multi-billion trade in looted antiquities, or indeed any significant trade in looted material, as often promulgated in the media and by some academics to be a myth.  In reality, there is clearly very little looted material on the market.