Home 2018-01-25T14:36:25+00:00

Who We Are

The Antiquities Coalition is leading the global campaign against cultural racketeering: the looting and trafficking of ancient art. This illicit industry is financing organized crime, armed conflict, and violent extremism around the world.  It is erasing our past—and threatening our future. The Antiquities Coalition partners with leaders from the public and private sectors, tackles plunder-for-profit head on. Through independent research and outside collaborations, we develop and implement innovative and practical solutions, empowering communities and even countries in crisis. Together, with your help, we can stop the traffic in blood antiquities, and save our shared history for future generations.

The Problem

Cultural racketeering — the looting and trafficking of art and antiquities — is funding crime, conflict, and violent extremism around the world. This illegal industry often goes hand in hand with cultural terrorism, the deliberate and systematic destruction of targeted groups and their heritage. Currently, Daesh (ISIS) is engaged in both cultural racketeering and terrorism in Iraq and Syria, converting the Cradle of Civilization’s patrimony into weapons and troops whose atrocities destroy human life, culture, and history.

But Daesh is not alone: By purchasing an Egyptian papyrus, a Cambodian statue, or a Mayan vase on Madison Avenue, collectors may be putting money into the pockets of mafia syndicates, armed insurgents, and terrorist networks.

This is a global problem–it requires global solutions.

What We’ve Lost

 In this last year, we have lost entire chapters of our shared history, and some of the Cradle of Civilization’s most iconic masterpieces and sites, to plunder and iconoclasm.

Umayyad Mosque
Aleppo, Syria

Mausoleum of Mohammad Bin Ali
Palmyra, Syria

International Recognition

Sameh Shoukry
“Egypt is working alongside regional and international partners such as the Antiquities Coalition to stem the flow of stolen antiquities.”
Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Foreign Minister of Egypt
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General فيس بوك بالعربية
The Antiquities Coalition “provides a powerful example of what can be achieved through partnerships between governments and NGOs.”
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General
“The [Antiquities] Coalition, since its inception in March 2011, has shown great support and exerted utmost efforts to raise awareness and combat the looting and illegal trade of Egyptian antiquities and artifacts.”
Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, former Minister of Antiquities
“The Antiquities Coalition, UNESCO, and other organizations have already sounded the alarm, and the U.S. should leverage their insights, networks, and activism to stem the flow of funds to ISIS from this trade.”
Juan Zarate, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Latest From The Blog

  • Sabratha Libya

United States And Libya Strengthen Joint Fight Against Cultural Racketeering And Terrorist Financing

February 23rd, 2018|0 Comments

Today in the State Department’s Treaty Room, both countries signed a bilateral agreement to stop the black market trade in "blood antiquities" and other stolen art, which is financing Daesh (ISIS), armed insurgents, and organized criminals throughout North Africa and the Middle East.

Threat Of Cultural Racketeering Highlighted At Global Special Operations Forces Symposium

February 23rd, 2018|0 Comments

The U.S. Special Forces played a critical role in exposing the direct link between antiquities looting and trafficking, and the financing of Daesh. These topics, and ways to address the situation, were discussed in remarks delivered by Deborah Lehr, to the Global SOF Symposium in Tampa Bay.

  • Ma’arra Museum Syria

The Importance Of Cultural Heritage For Post Conflict Stabilization And Reconciliation

February 15th, 2018|0 Comments

Cultural heritage has a critical role in rebuilding and enhancing Syrian identity and helping to clear a path towards post conflict stabilization and reconciliation. Protecting and preserving Syria’s history and cultural heritage will safeguard its future.

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