SARAJEVO, October 18 (FENA) – The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Art Works Unit of the General Secretariat of Interpol in Lyon-France, in cooperation with the Center against Art Smuggling-CPKU and the Agency for Education and Professional Development of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized online specialist training for members of law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the topic “Fight against illegal trade in cultural treasures.”
The training was held from October 13 to 15, and members of Interpol presented their activities and introduced the participants to the procedures related to the work of this specialized police unit that works to combat the illicit trade in art.
The Interpol database on missing works of art, which was founded in 1995 and contains more than 51,000 works of art from 134 countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, was also presented.
This training also represents the third phase of training that was launched in 2019. This training will be followed by the fourth phase of the training, after which the participants will receive certificates which will enable them to continue conducting trainings in their organizational units on the topic of the illicit art trade.
President of the Center against Art Smuggling Dženan Jusufović told FENA that together with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the coming period they will implement a project related to raising public awareness of the problem of the illicit art trade, which should greatly contribute to raising awareness of protecting cultural property of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The 25th anniversary of the UNIDROIT Convention on the International Return of Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects was marked at the beginning of this month. As a participant in the marking of this jubilee, I am of the opinion that it is time for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a signatory to the convention, to form a commission at the state level to start negotiations with countries for which there is information that they have our cultural assets,” said Jusufović.
In addition to this, in his opinion, as well as in the opinion of experts dealing with this issue, in the coming period for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most important thing is the formation of the “National Database on Missing Artwork” and the establishment of “Specialized Police Unit to Prevent Illicit Art Trade”.
Jufufović states that this was also a topic at the last training by high-ranking persons from the Art Unit at the General Secretariat of Interpol in Lyon.
“These are all obligations that await our country in the coming period, for which it is necessary to express political will, and which I am sure will be successfully realized in the end. As in all previous five years, the Center against Art Smuggling will continue to work together with domestic and international partners to strengthen the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of protection of cultural property and prevention of illicit art trade,” Jusufović told FENA.