Last week (24th-26th October) Council of Europe organized the conference on promoting the Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property (2017 Nicosia Convention). The primary aim of the Conference was to raise awareness and promote shared efforts at fighting offences relating to cultural property.

The place of adoption, Nicosia, welcomed delegates of governments and civil society, as well as representatives of the European Union, UNESCO, UNIDROIT, European Association of Archaeologists, INGOs and other relevant stakeholders under one roof. Besides specialists’ presentations participants has a chance to debate in four thematic working groups on:

- criminalizing offences relating to cultural property and interaction with relevant European and International law;

- role of civil society, business and governments in preventing offences related to cultural property;

- practical co-operation of law enforcement agencies: customs and cultural heritage police, cultural heritage agencies;

- raising awareness on protecting cultural property through media and education’s founder, Irina Olevska, on part of civil society represented Latvia and acted as a rapporteur to the last working group on raising awareness on protecting cultural property through media and education.

After the sessions the working groups consolidated insights and formulated action proposals for working actively and in co-operation towards a cultural of awareness and responsible handling of cultural property by both governments and societies.


Within the two and a half years the Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property (2017 Nicosia Convention) was signed by 12 and ratified by two countries. In order for the Convention to come into force at least 5 ratifications are needed, at least three of which are by the States of the Council of Europe.

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