Defeating terrorism and saving art: fighting the same battle
With a Foreword by Pierre Buhler
This working paper is also available in French.
The antiques market draws increasing attention both in Europe and in the United States following both the unprecedented attacks on cultural landmarks around the world, and ISIS’s institutionalisation of “blood antiquities’’ looting (leading some to raise concerns of a“mass destruction market”).
More generally, there are also questions about the art market’s global functioning, specifically around its regulation and its weak compliance culture. Once combined, these elements pose explicit risks: geopolitic and security risk (terrorism financing, organized crime, etc.); diplomatic and cultural risk (identity destruction, sale of stolen objects); various economic risks stemming from irrational, subjective and variable prices (money laundering, fraud, tax evasion), and finally the systemic risk for buyers as fakes flood the market.
Similarly to “blood diamonds”, only a global solution can solve such a global issue already exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis (as demonstrated by the information from source countries or online sales). The European Union and the United States, which both represent a tremendous share of the global market, are making significant progress. Beyond law enforcement, the question of a global and adapted regulation remains unanswered.
 https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2706.html ; https://next.liberation.fr/culture/2000/12/05/art-faux-et-usage-de-faux_346606 ; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165176511002618 ; https://news.artnet.com/art-world/recent-art-forgery-scandals-705428 ; https://news.artnet.com/market/faberge-ivanov-hermitage-museum-1940514#.YBWNiSAJlZ0.twitter