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25 October 2012

INTERPOL holds first conference addressing growing problem of counterfeit art

LYON, France - Tackling the increasing global trend of forged and falsified cultural objects was the focus of INTERPOL’s 1st International Conference on Counterfeit Art.

The two-day meeting (23 and 24 October), which gathered nearly 70 representatives from law enforcement, private institutions and international organizations from some 22 countries, recognized the need for increased information exchange and for enhanced public and government awareness of art forgery and related crimes.

In addition to specific case studies presented by specialized law enforcement officers, a wide range of professionals including rights owners and representatives from scientific and forensic laboratories and auction houses, provided their perspective to enable the widest understanding of the different stakes in this growing crime area.

Among a series of recommendations aimed at preventing and addressing art forgery at the national and international levels was the development, review or adaptation of legislation, increased information exchange through INTERPOL channels and sharing of best practice.

Opening the conference, INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation and information exchange on counterfeit art which, given the massive profits to be made, makes this crime type particularly attractive to organized criminal groups.

This particular aspect of the illicit trade in cultural objects is part of ongoing efforts by the Works of Art unit at INTERPOL to support law enforcement agencies across all 190 member countries to preserve and protect the world’s cultural heritage.