27 November 2003
List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk
STOP the Illicit Trafficking in
International Council of Museums (ICOM) announces the
publication of the Red
List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk.
This List has been drawn up in response to the illicit
trafficking in pre-Columbian and Colonial objects, which
is steadily increasing in spite of national and international
legislation strictly prohibiting the export and sale of
this type of cultural property.
Red List contains 25 examples of specific
pre-Columbian and Colonial heritage categories that are
systematically looted throughout Latin America and that
are also in great demand on the illegal antiquities market.
Latin America, looting of archaeological sites and thefts
in museums and religious edifices are causing irreparable
damage to the heritage of the continent and of mankind
as a whole. This emergency situation, which has lasted
for years, has provoked an outcry from the international
community of heritage professionals. The Red List
was drawn up in April 2002 by a group of 60 museum and
heritage professionals from America and Europe at a workshop
that was held in Bogotá and that was jointly organized
by ICOM and the Colombian Ministry of Culture.
Red List is an appeal to museums, auction houses,
art dealers and collectors not to buy these objects. It
is also intended to help customs officials, police officers
and art dealers to identify them.
Red List is not exhaustive. Due to the tremendous
variety of objects, styles, and periods, the legal
status of any antiquity from Latin America should be carefully
ascertained, in order to make sure that it has not been
stolen or looted.
Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk
will be distributed to the concerned professionals, custom
officials and police officers all over the world via Interpol
and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The English,
Spanish and French versions of the Red List
are also available on ICOM's Web site (http://icom.museum/redlist).
is based on ICOM's Red List concept, and follows on from
previous work on Africa and Iraq.
wishes to extend its gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Netherlands, the Prinz Klaus Fund
and the Danish Center for Culture and Development,
for bestowing their trust on ICOM once again in providing
financial support for this project.
information for the press
ICOM International : Valérie Jullien,
Tel + 33 (0) 1 47 34 05 00 Fax +33 (0) 1 44 10 40 07