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Think Tank Makes Recommendations for Strengthening the Legal Trade in Cultural Material

December 3, 2020

New Antiquities Coalition Policy Brief Proposes Multilateral Export Control Regimes to Fortify the Legitimate Trade in Cultural Objects

Today, the Antiquities Coalition has released a Policy Brief that examines the possibility of implementing Multilateral Export Control Regimes (MECRs) to strengthen the legal trade in cultural objects in order to prevent the illicit trade. The Multilateral Export Control Regime (MECR) model ensures that importers from market countries make contact with authorities in supplier countries and justify the end use of an intended import before receiving an export license from supplier countries.

Author Sam Greene is a strategic consultant with expertise in international affairs, immigration, security, and trade, with over a decade of experience working at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In his policy brief, he uses Latin America as a case study, and makes key recommendations for how the region could prepare for and implement the MECR structure to protect cultural heritage.

“While negotiated import controls are excellent in developing positive international relations, and are a needed layer to preventing the illicit flow of cultural property, they can only be fully realized if met by an equally enforced and informative export control,” Greene argues.

Greene recommends that to implement MECRs, Latin American countries appoint necessary representatives, seek out expertise, define restriction lists, designate enforcing authorities, commit to timely implementation, and share accurate information. He also recommends that they encourage other regions to do the same.                                                    

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



About the Antiquities Coalition Think Tank

The Antiquities Coalition unites a diverse group of experts in the international campaign against cultural racketeering, the illicit trade in art and antiquities. This plunder for profit funds crime, conflict, and violent extremist organizations around the world. By championing better law and policy, fostering diplomatic cooperation, and advancing proven solutions with public and private partners worldwide, the Antiquities Coalition empowers communities and countries in crisis to safeguard cultural heritage for future generations. 

Launched in 2016, the Antiquities Coalition Think Tank joins forces with international experts, including leaders in the fields of preservation, business, law, security, and technology, to bring high-quality, results-oriented research to the world’s decision-makers, especially those in the government and private sectors. Policy briefs strive to strengthen policy makers’ understanding of the challenges facing collective human heritage, and to help them develop better solutions to protect it. The views expressed in these policy briefs are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Antiquities Coalition.

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