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Think Tank Makes Recommendations for British Government to Close a Gateway for Illicit Cultural Property

October 21, 2021

New Antiquities Coalition Policy Brief Analyzes the UK’s decision to Repeal the EU Import Regulation in Great Britain and prevent the resulting risk of Northern Ireland becoming a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property

The Antiquities Coalition today released a Policy Brief that examines the UK’s recent decision to repeal the EU Regulation on the Introduction and the Import of Cultural Goods (EU 2019/880) in Great Britain. Author Fionnuala Rogers argues that the repeal creates a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property through Northern Ireland, where the regulation still applies, and that the UK must take immediate steps to mitigate that risk.

“The objectives of the Regulation are both urgent and necessary, namely to safeguard humanity’s cultural heritage and prevent the illicit trade in cultural goods, particularly where such illicit trade could contribute to terrorist financing.” Rogers adds, “The objective of the UK should be to strike a balance between prevention of illicit trafficking and maintaining a legitimate art market, while trying to streamline requirements, procedures and practices across the UK as much as possible when it comes to import.” 

This paper makes a series of recommendations to encourage the UK to rationalize its regulatory approach, meet its international commitments, and to set a leading example for other art market countries in cultural heritage protection.

Fionnuala Rogers is a leader in the field of cultural property. Rogers is an art and cultural property lawyer, and founder and director of the specialist art and heritage law firm, Canvas Art Law Ltd. She is Chair of the United Kingdom Committee of the Blue Shield and member of the Blue Shield International Illicit Trafficking working group. 

For a summary and link to the policy brief, visit: