Samstag, 17.11.2018 14:54 Uhr

The world's most wanted painting

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 16.10.2018, 09:23 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4543x gelesen

Rome [ENA] In 1969 a Nativity by Caravaggio was stolen from a Palermo church (Oratorio di San Lorenzo) supposedly by the Mafia. The Vatican has called a conference of experts to attempt to locate "the world's most wanted painting" this week. The inestimable painting by Caravaggio was first believed to have been destroyed shortly after it disappeared in 1969. But investigators now say it is actually still intact and could be

hidden somewhere in Eastern Europe. The painting is called The Nativity and it was painted by the Renaissance master in 1609, shortly before his death. The case of this painting brings attention to certain categories of cultural goods, namely archaeological objects, elements of monuments, rare manuscripts and incunabula which are particularly vulnerable to pillage and destruction. In order to cut the link between the trafficking of cultural goods and organized crime and terrorism financing and at the same time giving a legal certainty to licit art market, it seems more and more vital to provide for a system of increased scrutiny before cultural goods may enter the customs territory of the European Union.

Such a system should require the exhibition of a licence issued by the competent authority of the first Member State of entry prior to the release for free circulation of those goods or their placement under a special customs procedure other than transit. Persons seeking to obtain such a licence should be able to prove that the cultural goods have been exported from the source country in accordance with its laws and regulations or to prove the absence of such laws and regulations. There’s a juridical basis like UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.

More recently the UN Security Council resolution 2347 (2017) and the Florence Declaration signed by the Ministers of Culture of the G7 on 31 March 2017 , reaffirmed the need to fight against the illicit trade in cultural goods, particularly from countries experiencing conflict and internal strife. Common rules on the export of cultural goods do already exist under EU regulation. As for the import of cultural goods, only two specific restrictive measures regarding Syria and Iraq are in force at the EU level. On the other side, the licit export from the source country should be proved with the proper documents and evidence, in particular, export certificates or export licenses issued by the third country of export, ownership titles, invoices

sales contracts, insurance documents, transport documents and experts appraisals. It’s crucial to ensure a proper balance between the objective of curbing the illicit import of cultural goods and the need to ensure that controls and additional obligations do not pose an undue burden to licit economic operators in art market and to customs authorities. Based on complete and accurate applications, the competent authorities of the Member States should decide whether to issue an authorization without undue deferral. In cases where the source country of the cultural goods cannot be established, the application should be accompanied by any supporting documents and information, providing evidence that the cultural goods were exported from

the export country in accordance with its laws and regulations. The import of cultural goods that originate in conflict-affected or high-risk countries should always necessitate the presentation of a license issued by the competent authority of the first Member State of entry.

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