Convention to curb illicit antiquities trade

Heads of mission joined Cyprus High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades at a meeting in Parliament to hear about the Nicosia Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property, adopted during the Cyprus Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, which ended in May.

The meeting was hosted by Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chairman Sir Crispin Blunt and the guest speakers were by Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Lord Refrew, long a campaigner against the illicit trade in antiquities.

The new convention, which has been signed by six countries (the first was Cyprus), is open to any state, and is the only international treaty specifically dealing with the criminalisation of illicit trafficking of cultural property.

n The Cyprus High Commission also teamed up with the Austrian Embassy (as OSCE Chair) to co-host a high-level panel discussion on the protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

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