Christos Koutsothanasis, archaeologists with the Greek Ministry of Culture, Education, and Religious Affairs, will give a lecture titled: Protecting Cultural Heritage from Looting and Illicit Trafficking: The Case of Greece. The lecture will take place at the premises of the Norwegian Institute at Athens, Tsami Karatasou 5, 5th floor (Koukaki) starting at 19:00.

Abstract

This lecture presents Greece’s efforts in combating the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. We begin with an overview of the problem, addressing both “internal” and “external” factors affecting the issue, along with their effects and consequences. I also introduce the national and international legal framework within which Greece is operating.

Following this, the means and tools that Greece is using in the struggle for the restriction of the illegal trade of antiquities are presented. The most important of these is exhaustive documentation in directories, records and archives, in forms that allow the structured classification and cross checking of information. Another tool is the proper use of relevant international on-line databases and communication platforms that diffuse information. Equally important is the constant and thorough checking of private and museum collections and the art market, mainly through auctions monitoring. The above are the most common ways of locating illegally exported cultural goods and the first and most crucial steps for their reclamation.

I also describe different forms of cooperation in the fight against illegal trafficking, such as among law enforcement services (police, coast guard), judicial and consular authorities, customs, and other national and international organizations. Finally, we examine several cases of restitutions and repatriations of cultural goods including request of antiquities illegally exported during World War II and the Parthenon sculptures.

Refreshments will be served following the lecture

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