UNESCO workshop on the ethics of collections and fight against illicit traffic of cultural heritage in the GCC


Ms Marina Schneider, UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary, took part to a three-day workshop on the ethics of collections and fight against illicit traffic of cultural heritage in the GCC, organised by UNESCO and the Tourism and Culture Authority of the UAE, in Abu Dhabi (UAE) from 2 to 4 April 2017.


The workshop is part of UNESCO’s capacity building initiatives and it is the first workshop of its kind in the region bringing together representatives of culture authorities from the GCC, public and private museums, collectors and auction houses as well as experts from institutions such as UNESCO, INTERPOL, WCO-OMD, ICOM, UNODC.


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Shot of the participants to the Workshop.   Group Photo of Workshop participants.






On 30-31 March 2017, UNIDROIT was invited to take part to the first G7 Culture meeting in the history of G7, hosted by Italy in Florence.


The Ministerial meeting attended by Prof. Anna Veneziano, Deputy Secretary general of UNIDROIT, was preceded by a technical meeting on challenges and opportunities of the existing legal framework, best strategies and preventive measures for safeguarding cultural property from illicit trafficking, and awareness-raising and education’s improvement to which UNIDROIT contributed.


The Declaration signed by the seven Ministers of Culture urges States to strengthen safeguarding and preservation of cultural heritage, to identify and share appropriate best practices for fighting every form of illegal activity in this field, as well as to ratify the existing relevant Conventions against trafficking in cultural property such as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.


Joint Declaration of the Ministers of Culture of G7.



Shot of the conference room.






On 16-17 March 2017, UNIDROIT hosted a two-day conference on: “Private Collections: Historical and Legal Perspectives” in collaboration with the International Society for Research and Cultural Heritage (ISCHAL), Institut des sciences sociales du politique (ISP), BonelliErede law firm, Institut - Droit Ethique - Patrimoine (IDEP), Institut d'études de droit public (IEDP), Università degli Studi di Milano and Université des Etudes de Genève.


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Between 28 and 30 March 2017, Ms Marina Schneider, UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary, participated in the work of INTERPOL’s forum “Unity For Security”, held in Abu Dhabi and organised in partnership with the United Arab Emirates and the INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World, under the patronage of his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.


The forum brought together Ministers with responsibility for security portfolios, senior police officials, representatives from the private sector as well as experts to collectively address common issues and to identify their responsibility in implementing a global policing architecture to combat future threats.


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Ms Marina Schneider,
UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary
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The special event on “Promoting and strengthening the international legal framework for the protection of cultural heritage” took place on Tuesday, 28 February 2017, at the UN HQ, co-organized by the Missions of Cyprus and Italy to the UN and by UNIDROIT.


During the event, UNIDROIT and the Missions of Cyprus and Italy to the UN announced the establishment of an informal Task Force, open to all States wishing to participate, aimed at the promotion of the wider ratification of the 1995 UNDIROIT Convention. The Task Force will be coordinated by UNIDROIT, assisted by the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention Academic Project which will be launched soon, and will convene on an annual basis in New York, in order to provide a platform for the exchange of views on issues such as the state of ratifications of the UNIDROIT 1995 Convention, for the promotion of activities aimed at awareness, information and best practices sharing, and for training and education to assist on the accession, ratification and implementation of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.


 • Summary          • Save the date          • Concept note         • Programme



Shot of the seated audience.






On 20-24 February 2017, the Council of Europe hosts the 4th and conclusive Plenary Meeting for the drafting of the new criminal law Convention aimed at combating the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

Ms Marina Schneider, UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer, contributed to the work of the Committee on Offences relating to Cultural Property (PC-IBC).



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Roundtable on Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Historic Cities (Lens, 20-21 January 2017) 


flyer fIn conjunction with the exhibition “History begins in Mesopotamia” on view until 23 January 2017, and in response to current events in the Middle East, the Louvre-Lens Museum and ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in the UAE, are organising a two-day round-table dedicated to the post-conflict reconstruction of historic cities.

This event, which will take place on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017 in Lens, aims to bring together international specialists who will address existing cases and develop on the reflections from previous symposia with regards to historic cities affected by war and the process of reconstruction that takes place once the conflict is over. 

The first day will be organised around four roundtables: Reflections on Post-conflict ReconstructionImplementation of International OrganisationsRegional Case Studies (France, Poland, Germany, Bosnia); Case Studies from the Middle East (Beirut and Aleppo). This first day will conclude with a summary of that day’s accomplishments. The second day will focus on the role of development agencies in the reconstruction process.


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Council of Europe colloquy on protecting cultural heritage from destruction and trafficking (Strasbourg, 13 January 2017) 


On 13 January, high-level representatives from international organisations and national governments, as well as academic experts, will gather in Strasbourg for a colloquium aimed at strengthening cooperation to protect cultural heritage from wanton destruction and preventing the illicit trafficking of cultural goods.


Organised jointly by the Cypriot chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and its Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, the event will focus on the illicit excavation, sale and acquisition of cultural property, which has become a lucrative trade often linked to cross-border organised crime and terrorism.


Keynote speakers include Ioannis Kasoulides, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Mammoun Abdulkarim, the Director-General of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Also addressing the event are Hans-Holger Herrnfeld, Chair of the Committee on Offences relating to Cultural Heritage, and Anna Veneziano, the Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT.


The Council of Europe is currently preparing a new Convention on Offences related to Cultural Property, which will become the only international treaty focusing on criminal measures and sanctions on illicit activities in the field of cultural heritage. 




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