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Illegal trade of artifacts on the rise

By Jan van der Made

The illegal trade of antique and modern artifacts amounts to approximately 6 billion dollars per year, and the figure is rising. At the root of the problem are grave looting, museum theft and the scavenging of historic sites. This week, the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Unesco Convention for the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property was celebrated in the organisation's headquarters in Paris. There was particular interest in Egypt, as cultural heritage sites were reportedly looted during the recent popular uprising.

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