The Prevention of the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Properties – An ASEAN Perspective


Screen Shot 2022-09-06 at 9.32.04 AM.jpg

Speech of David Gosset at the International Conference on Cultural Properties Protection: The Prevention of the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Properties – An ASEAN Perspective. 6th September, 2022, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

click the image to watch the video

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,

I would like to thank the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as the Antiquities Coalition for the organization of this important conference on "The Prevention of the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property - An ASEAN Perspective".

In the fight against art trafficking, governmental authorities, international organizations, police and justice have obviously a key role to play but their work will be greatly facilitated if our societies become increasingly aware of the dynamics of this particular issue.

Therefore, our problem should also be how to increase the awareness on the necessity to combat art trafficking whose, by some estimates, has reached a value of 10 billion US dollars per year.

While our world faces a series of complex and immediate crises, it is not easy to maintain the right attention level on what can appear as a less urgent challenge to tackle. Moreover, illegal drug trade, human and arms trafficking remain the other dark realities of our global village. It seems that de-globalization does not apply to criminals!

This movement towards greater awareness has to involve actors in education, the private sector in finance, logistics or services, civil society, and of course, traditional and new media.

I hope that the China-Europe-America Museums Cooperation Initiative that we have launched last year can also serve our goal. With a 64 billion US dollars global art market in 2019, it is important to engage with collectors across the world if one wants to win the battle against art trafficking.

In this context, another function of cultural diplomacy is to act as a catalyst in the prevention of the illicit trade in cultural property. Nothing wrong with having influence, especially when influence is at the service of social and human progress.

One traditionally associates global governance with security and economic issues. Well, it is a more effective "global cultural governance" that we wish to see designed and implemented.

To observe at our conference how Cambodia and ASEAN contribute to the shaping of global cultural governance is highly stimulating.

The 2021 Rome Declaration of the G20 Ministers of Culture has been also a significant step forward.

While we recognize progress since the UNESCO 1970 Convention, let us join forces to accelerate its pace. By doing so, I am deeply convinced that we contribute to the deepening of mankind's cohesion.

Thank you.



Copyright ©2022 China-Europe-America Global Initiative  All Rights Reserved.