11 June 2003
Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk
International Council of Museums (ICOM) announces the
official publication of its Emergency
Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk describing
types of object especially at risk or likely to have been
stolen from Iraq.
Red List has been compiled in an extremely short space
of time, in the hope that it will help curb illicit trade
in objects looted from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad or from
museums and archaeological sites elsewhere in the country.
It was drawn up by a group of international experts during
a meeting organised by ICOM at the headquarters of Interpol
in Lyons (France) on 7 May 2003.
Emergency Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk is designed
to help customs officials, police officers and art dealers
identify objects as coming from Iraq.
Red List describes the types of object most sought-after
on the illegal antiquities market, so that they can be
identified and impounded. It makes no claim to be exhaustive.
Because of the extremely varied nature of Iraqi cultural
heritage, any antiquities from Iraq should be viewed with
aim in compiling this Red List was to launch a prompt
practical initiative which would have an immediate impact,
safeguarding Iraqi cultural heritage and preventing stolen
Iraqi art works from entering the international art market.
The Emergency Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk is
based on ICOM's Red List concept, and follows on from
previous work aimed at protecting African heritage, and
ongoing work on the Latin America Red List scheduled for
publication in September 2003.
expresses its gratitude to the US Department of State
(Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs), whose prompt
offer of financial support made this project possible.
English version of the Emergency Red List of Iraqi Antiquities
at Risk can be consulted on the ICOM Web site (French
and Arab versions to follow very shortly). It will also
be distributed as a leaflet to customs officials and police
officers all over the world via Interpol and the World
Customs Organisation (WCO).
connection with this initiative, it should be noted that
the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, which
was passed on 22 May 2003, bans all international trade
in Iraqi cultural property exported illegally after 6
is an international organisation of museums and museum
professionals which is committed to the conservation,
continuation and communication to society of the world's
natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible
18,000 members in 143 countries, ICOM provides an international
network of museum professionals across the spectrum of
disciplines and specialisations.
was founded in 1946. It is a non-governmental, not-for-profit
organisation which has formal links with UNESCO and consultative
status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council.
fight against illicit traffic of cultural goods is one
of ICOM's core commitments. The Emergency Red List of
Iraqi Antiquities at Risk has been compiled to prevent
cultural objects being sold illegally on the art market,
and thus to ensure the protection of Iraqi heritage. It
is based on ICOM's Red List concept, and follows on from
previous work on Africa and Latin-America.
Contact : Valérie Jullien
Maison de l'UNESCO-
1, rue Miollis
75732 Paris cedex 15 - France
Tel. : +33 (0) 1.47.34.05.00 - Fax : +33 (0) 1.43.06.78.62