The European Union has tightened the fight against trafficking in cultural values

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Vitvitskiy fotobanka in the EU in the European quarter in Brussels. Archival photo.The European Union has tightened the fight against trafficking in cultural values© RIA Novosti / Alexey vitvitskiy to the photobank

Permanent representatives of member countries of the European Union on Wednesday approved the European Commission’s proposed draft EU regulation to prevent the import and storage within the community of the cultural values illegally exported from countries outside the EU, reported the press service of the EU Council.

«These new rules will not only preserve cultural heritage, particularly archaeological sites in countries affected by armed conflict, but also to prevent terrorist financing through such trafficking», — stated in the message.

The regulation applies to cultural property that was created or found outside the EU, older than 250 years and cost at least 10 thousand euros.

«The proposed regulation complements the existing framework of EU trade in cultural goods, which until now included only legislation covering the export of cultural goods and the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of EU countries», — said in a release.

Evaluation of the European Commission, the smuggling of cultural values on a global scale is estimated at 1 to 5 billion euros per year. The EU is particularly concerned that terrorists use the money from the sale of cultural property, including archaeological artifacts, to Finance terrorist attacks against the citizens of the EU countries.

To date, the EU has already imposed a ban on the trade in cultural property from Iraq and Syria, but the General rules of import into the EU of the cultural values there.

The European Commission offers member countries of the EU to issue licenses on the import of archaeological artifacts to prevent their illegal import. The Board of commissioners expects that the relevant EU regulation will come into force in January 2019.

According to the European media, in 2015, through the hands of the terrorist group «Islamic state»* according to expert estimates, were about 100 thousand archaeological artifacts.

*Banned in Russia as a terrorist organization