Ethics of collections and the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural heritage in GCC countries

When, local time: 
Sunday, 2 April 2017 - 9:00am to Tuesday, 4 April 2017 - 3:00pm
United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop

UNESCO is organizing in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority a regional workshop on the ethics of acquisitions in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that will be held 2-4 of April.
The purpose is to engage with professionals active in the private and public culture sectors with the objective to increase their awareness about the ethical and legal standards regarding the acquisition, collection and management of collections.

The proposed workshop aims to increase awareness of the ethical and legal standards regarding the acquisition, collection and managing of cultural heritage objects as well as the consequences caused by trafficking in cultural heritage and difficulties raised by traceability, seizure and restitution of stolen and illegally exported cultural objects. Museums, private collectors, art market stakeholders, in particular auction houses, are crucial actors in the fight against illicit trafficking. The workshop is therefore offering a guide to the existing frameworks but also the initiatives and actions of these institutions in terms of the acquisition and transfer of collections.
To this end, the proposed workshop is especially developed to raise awareness and provide information about good practices regarding the implementation of the relevant international normative framework, acquisitions, ethics of collections and transit of cultural objects in the region. The workshop will include modules on:
1. Legal international framework (principally the 1970 UNESCO and 1995 UNIDROIT Conventions with also a focus on the 1954 Hague Convention and its Two Protocols)
2. Illicit trafficking in the GCC: current situation and challenges
3. Traceability of collections in museums
4. Traceability of private collections
5. Focus: The 1970 and 1995 conventions in the context of the UAE

Each module aims to inform institutions and stakeholders that work with management of cultural heritage and collections about the normative instruments against the illicit trafficking of cultural property, measures and mechanisms of their implementation as well as creating a better understanding around the concepts of ethical collecting and regulations of the art market. Furthermore, it is envisaged to have a preventive effect on illicit trafficking in private and public collections by increasing awareness regarding the effects of illegal trade in cultural goods.