Object ID

Object ID is the international standard for describing cultural objects, in order to facilitate their identification in case of theft.

In order to combat the illicit trade in cultural objects, international collaboration among a variety of types of organizations in both the public and private sectors is required.

The standard defined by Object ID is used by specialists and non-specialists alike. As such, it identifies broad concepts rather than specific fields and uses simple, non-technical vocabulary. It has been translated into 17 languages.

The standard was created with the following aims:

  • To provide a checklist of the information required to identify stolen or missing objects;
  • As a documentation standard that establishes the minimum level of information needed to describe an object for purposes of identification;
  • To develop information networks that will allow diverse organizations to exchange descriptions of objects rapidly;
  • To provide a solid basis for training programmes to teach the documentation of objects.

Object ID was conceived by the Getty Information Institute in collaboration with six key communities:

  • Cultural heritage organizations (including museums, national inventories, and archaeological organizations);
  • Law enforcement agencies;
  • Customs agencies;
  • The art trade;
  • Appraisers;
  • The insurance industry.

Object ID meets the requirements of INTERPOL for the description of cultural objects to be entered in its database. 

16 December 2015

Protecting Cultural Heritage exhibition, United Nations headquarters

26 November 2015

Works of art stolen in Verona, Italy

27 September 2015

Global initiative launched to counter the destruction and trafficking of cultural property by terrorist and organized crime groups

13 July 2015

Egyptian authorities seize guns, drugs and stolen art in operation targeting illicit goods

28 April 2015

INTERPOL Chief pledges continued support to protect cultural heritage

11 March 2015

International meeting at INTERPOL aims to better protect cultural heritage

18 February 2013

Bhutan hosts international conference on protection of cultural property in Asia co-organized with INTERPOL

18 February 2013

INTERPOL to support global action plan for rehabilitation of Mali’s cultural sites

01 February 2013

INTERPOL calls on international support for the preservation of cultural heritage in Mali

22 January 2013

Appeal following aggravated theft of art from house in Belgium

13 November 2012

Protection of cultural property focus of Bhutan Police Chief visit to INTERPOL

25 October 2012

INTERPOL holds first conference addressing growing problem of counterfeit art

16 October 2012

INTERPOL issues alert following theft of paintings from Kunsthal Museum in The Netherlands

08 October 2012

Philippines hosts INTERPOL workshop on the prevention of illicit trafficking in cultural property

21 May 2012

INTERPOL calls for vigilance on looting of ancient mosaics in Syria

02 March 2012

Cultural property crime focus of international expert meeting at INTERPOL

27 February 2012

Armed robbery at Ancient Olympia Museum in Greece

17 February 2012

Theft of three paintings by Brueghel from private home in Belgium

23 January 2012

Theft of Picasso and other paintings from National Art Gallery in Athens

16 December 2011

Coin dealers alerted by INTERPOL over illegal sales of ancient Roman treasures

21 October 2011

Safeguarding the world’s cultural heritage focus of INTERPOL symposium

12 October 2011

Appeal following theft of artwork by Magritte in Belgium

22 September 2011

INTERPOL issues alert following disappearance of cultural goods in Libya

14 April 2011

Meeting of INTERPOL's Experts Group on Stolen Cultural Property focuses on information sharing

17 March 2011

INTERPOL underlines role of concerted action at UNESCO forum on cultural heritage trafficking

23 February 2011

Four works of art stolen in Ajaccio, Corsica, France