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Cyprus

New body to combat looting and trafficking of antiquities

A national commission for combating looting and trafficking in cultural heritage has been given the green light by the cabinet.

The Committee will be composed of one representative each from the legal services, the ministries of communications and works, foreign affairs, education, and justice, the antiquities department, customs and the Church.

The commission’s responsibilities will be to examine documentation, make recommendations and conclude agreements with third countries to prevent theft and illegal import and export of artefacts and to maintain a database.

It will also help organise scientific conferences on all aspects of preventing the looting and illicit trafficking of cultural items, and liaise with EUROPOL, INTERPOL, EU CULTNET and other international organisations.

Committee members will be appointed by the minister of communications and works for five years. The body will be headed by the director of the department of antiquities.

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