The objectives of the Seminar are as follows:
- To raise awareness among a broad range of national actors of best practices and internationally available tools to prevent and counter trafficking in cultural property;
- Raise awareness and increase knowledge/understanding on:
(a) The use of the Internet for committing such types of crime
(b) Underwater cultural heritage looting/protection
(c) Role of auction houses, collectors in legal/illegal trade of antiquities
(d) Protection/safety measures of archaeological sites/churches
- To improve coordination and communication among national, European and international authorities;
- To offer the opportunity for participants to discuss best practices and recommendations for Cyprus to be implemented within respective national authorities in the future;
- To identify possible future areas and modalities for support.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) / Border Security and Management Unit in December 2016 received the request for assistance in capacity building training in the area of trafficking of cultural property / antiquities smuggling for the respective relatively small unit of the Cyprus Police.
Following the preliminary discussions on options for the organization of adequate capacity building training between OSCE and partnering organizations in this area (INTERPOL, UNODC, Experts from OSCE participating States), in coordination with Cyprus Police - Office for Combating Organized Crime and for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, conducted the preliminary assessment visit comprising a series of meetings with experts and/or advisers from Cyprus’ national ministries, agencies and bodies involved in protection of cultural property on 20-21 June 2017.
Based on the preliminary assessment visit involved parties identified the following specifics for the follow-up seminar:
- Bearing in mind the complexity of the phenomena, lectures and seminars should be organized in a way that includes representatives of relevant national agencies dealing with the trafficking of cultural property / antiquities smuggling (such as national police [marine and port police, airport security police, criminal investigation departments], customs, the Antiquities Department, the Inter-Ministerial National Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Prosecutors Office and non-governmental organizations). The Contact Points of the EU Cultnet will also be invited to attend the International Seminar. This approach will ensure intra-agency and inter-agency cooperation is further developed, along with increased individual capacities and international cooperation;
- Participants will be composed of a combination of first line officers and local and mid-level managers of the aforementioned agencies. Total number is up to 50 participants;
- Cyprus national counterparts will undertake the necessary measures to select participants and to manage administrative tasks related to national participants. National participants will bear their own travelling costs to/from the venue. Cyprus Police will host one official dinner for all the participants of the event; Preliminary Agenda (IV) is agreed, the event is to occur over three days with preferred dates for the seminar being 31 October – 02 November;
- Considering the Agenda and diverse group of participants coming from different locations, the most suitable location for conducting the training is the city of Larnaca, in the area close to Regional Police HQ and museums and galleries that will be visited as a part of the practical activities of the seminar. This location will also simplify and economize the usage of available resources for both national participants and international experts and provides the opportunity for respective agencies to fully cover the costs related to their participants.
- OSCE will select the venue and cover the full costs related to the venue (including catering/coffee breaks) and ones related to expert engagement in accordance with its existing internal administrative procedures.