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Subject: Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk

Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk

From: Hans-Christoph von Imhoff <xoph>
Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2004
    **** Moderator's comments: The following was posted to ICOM-L
    and is reproduced here without the knowledge or consent of the

    From: "V. Jullien" <jullien [at] icom__museum>
    To: <ICOM-L [at] HOME__EASE__LSOFT__COM>
    Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 12:03 PM

    Subject: Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk

    Stop the Illicit Trafficking in Heritage
    Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk

    European Launch

    The International Council of Museums (ICOM) announces the
    European launch of the Red List of Latin-American Cultural
    Objects at Risk. This List has     been drawn up in response to
    the illicit trafficking in Latin-American objects, which is
    steadily increasing in spite of national and international
    legislation strictly prohibiting the export and sale of this
    type of cultural property. The 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 in Europe and

    The Red List has been presented to the public during a
    conference organised in The Netherlands on Monday 19 January
    2004 at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.  A same type
    of event will be held on Friday 23 January at the Museum of
    America in Madrid (Spain). These conferences, which
    international experts of Latin-American heritage will attend,
    will be the starting point of a European awareness raising
    campaign on the fight against illicit traffic of cultural

    The 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.

    For the American continent, this campaign for the protection of
    the heritage started in Chile in November 2003 and should
    continue in February 2004 in Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador and
    the United States. The 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 at <URL:>.

    In 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
    phenomenon, which has lasted for years, has provoked an outcry
    from the international community of heritage professionals. The
    Red list, as an answer to this emergency situation, was drawn up
    in April 2002 by a group of 60 museum and heritage professionals
    from Latin America and Europe at a workshop that was held in
    Bogota and that was jointly organized by ICOM and the Colombian
    Ministry of Culture.

    The 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.

    It is based on ICOM's Red List concept, and follows on from
    previous work on Africa and Iraq.

    ICOM 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.
    ICOM is also very grateful to the National Museum of Ethnology
    in Leiden and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and
    Sport for their cooperation and support.

    More information at:



        ICOM International
        Valirie Jullien
        jullien [at] icom__museum
        +33 1 44 10 40 07

Hans Christoph von Imhoff
31, Blvd. de Pirolles
1700 Fribourg / Switzerland
+41 26 321 14 44
Fax: +41 26 321 14 40

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:51
                Distributed: Thursday, January 29, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-51-012
Received on Tuesday, 20 January, 2004

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