• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Italy urges action against Isis antiquities dealing
Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini pictured earlier this year. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italy urges action against Isis antiquities dealing

AFP · 8 Dec 2015, 17:01

Published: 08 Dec 2015 17:01 GMT+01:00

The culture ministers of the three countries wrote in a letter to the European Commission urging concerted measures against the illicit trade in cultural treasures for the benefit of the jihadist group.

"By taking part directly or indirectly in the trade in cultural artifacts from archaeological digs, museums and libraries finance their (Isis's) atrocities in the region and in Europe," Monika Gruetters, Dario Franceschini and Fleur Pellerin wrote.

They said they had agreed at a meeting of EU culture ministers on November 24th, in the wake of last month's deadly Isis assault in Paris, that it was "high time for Europe... to take more effective action against these attacks on our cultural heritage and the trade in cultural assets".

Among steps the ministers called for were uniform EU import and export rules, more reliable certification of traded antiquities and expedited means to return plundered goods to their countries of origin.

In territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, Isis finances itself through means including oil smuggling, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and selling looted antiquities.

The United States and Russia said last week that they were drafting UN resolutions aimed at ramping up global efforts to choke off Isis's sources of financing.

The proposed new Security Council measures would build on a resolution adopted in February that sought to cut off millions of dollars in earnings from IS smuggling of oil and antiquities.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Live: Italy earthquake death toll rises to 120
Residents of Amatrice survey the damage to their homes. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

At least 120 people have died after a powerful earthquake struck a remote area of central Italy on Wednesday, said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning that the figure could still rise.

At least 120 dead in central Italy earthquake
Rescuers carry a man in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A powerful earthquake that rocked central Italy on Wednesday left 120 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll.

Italy earthquake: What we know so far
Rescuers carry a man through the rubble of damaged homes. Photo: AFP

At least 120 are reported dead as rescuers work to save those trapped in the rubble.

A long history of deadly earthquakes in Italy
Photo taken on May 17th 1976 of a nun showing a church destroyed by the Friuli-Venezia earthquake. Photo: AFP

At least 73 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy early on Wednesday.

'We only heard their cats': quake sorrow of Italian village
A victim of the quake in Illica desparately calls his relatives. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

Sitting with his brother on a bench in Illica, one of the Italian mountain villages devastated by a powerful earthquake on Wednesday, Guido Bordo clasps and unclasps his hands repeatedly.

IN PICS: Aftermath of deadly earthquake in Italy
A man from Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"Three quarters of the town isn't there anymore," said the mayor of Amatrice after a deadly quake hit overnight.

Migrant travels 400km clinging beneath lorry in Italy
The youngster was spotted travelling north on Italy's A1 motorway. Photo: Polizia di Stato

The refugee was exhausted from the effort of holding onto the truck by the time he was found.

Italian teenagers to get €500 'culture bonus'
The scheme will cost the govenment €290 million. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Italians who turn 18 this year can spend the money on books, concert tickets, trips to the cinema and more.

Venice and the perennial woe of unruly tourists
Venice attracts some 22 million people a year. Photo: Moyann Brenn

"One or two fools do not represents everyone," the city's councillor for tourism told The Local.

Rome wants to send its rubbish to Austria
Rome wants to send 70,000 tonnes of household waste to Austria. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Austria has received a request from Rome authorities to help them deal with the Italian capital’s ongoing rubbish crisis by taking some of it off their hands.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
2,507
jobs available