UNESCO Director-General commends national efforts to curb smuggling of antiquities from Iraq and Syria

In the context of media reports, indicating that antiquities of Syrian and Iraqi origin have been seized in Finland, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO praises countries actively engaging in the implementation of the prohibition of cross-border trade of cultural objects from Syria and Iraq, established by Security Council Resolution 2199 adopted in February this year.

“I commend all national efforts to stop the trafficking of Iraqi and Syrian cultural heritage.  I am immensely encouraged by the commitment of authorities to enforce the prohibition of cross-border trade of cultural objects originating from both countries, established by UN Security Council Resolution 2199”, said Irina Bokova. “I urge extreme vigilance at borders to identify and seize antiquities originating from Iraq and Syria. Every action counts  to safeguard the unique treasures of Iraq and Syria’s heritage and curb the funding that terrorist groups  gain from looting and trafficking of cultural objects”, added the Director-General.