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Over 80 thousand artworks recovered in 2022 by the Carabinieri Heritage Unit

ROME, APRIL 27 – In 2022, the Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection Command recovered 80,522 objects of art for an estimated total value of € 84,274,073. The overall figure was found in the dossier “Operational Activity 2022” of the specialized unit, established in 1969 in line with article 9 of the Italian Constitution (“the Republic protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation”). In over half a century of life, the Carabinieri TPC have returned to the public or to the legitimate owners more than three million cultural assets, as well as seized about 1,368,267 forgeries.

The operational activity shows a gradual decrease in crimes against the cultural heritage during 2022, also in light of legislative innovations that have tightened sanctions and allowing the TCP unit  to carry out undercover activities to combat illicit trafficking.

Among the recoveries of 2022, the fields of archaeology with 17,275 objects and paleontology (21,359) stand out, followed by that of antiques, archives and books (9,653). In terms of  counterfeiting, 1,241 works were seized, of which 951 of contemporary art. In addition, archaeological/paleontological (258) and antiques/archives and books (32) forgeries were seized, for a total estimated market value of about € 86,026,350. The constant monitoring of the “e-commerce” platforms allowed to recover 4,935 cultural goods from websites and the deferral of 112 individuals to the prosecutors.Carabinieri TPC: nel 2022 recuperati 80 mila beni d'arte, oltre 17 mila reperti archeologici

Important recoveries have characterized the past year. An example is the “Orpheus and the Sirens” sculptural group in terracotta, dated late fourth century BC, stolen in the 70s in Southern Italy (Taranto) and repatriated to Rome in September 2022. The sculptures, found in fragments reached Switzerland for a clandestine restoration, then were purchased by the Paul Getty Museum of Malibu, California. The recovery took place thanks to the investigation conducted by the Carabinieri Heritage Unit Operations Department, coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Taranto, in collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office of Manhattan (New York – U.S.A.) and the Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I.).

Carabinieri TPCVarious activities have been carried out in the field of “cultural diplomacy”. Fundamental in this context was the role offered by Europol, which supported Member States through the activity of specialists and analysts of the European Serious and Organised Crime Centre. In 2022, the prestigious setting of Europol’s headquarters in The Hague has been the location for two important events: the European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC) and the European Customs DG, attended by over 380 representatives of the European Union Law Enforcement Agencies and the main partner countries, from 49 nations, to discuss operational aspects and strengthen the spirit of cooperation.

In 2022 The Ministry of Culture established – in continuity with the Unite4Heritage Task Force – the “Blue Helmets of Culture”, reshaping their organization, activity, national and international tasks. The new normative provides for the deployment of the Italian task forces abroad following a formal invitation from UNESCO, or in the case of a request addressed bilaterally to Italy.

In the context of training, the Italian “Blue Helmets of Culture” held a mission in Buenos Aires in November 2022 within the framework of bilateral cooperation between the Interpol Department of Cultural Protection of the Federal Argentinian Police Force (PFA), the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage and the Ministries of Culture of both countries, in order to provide specialist support for the formation of the Argentinian “Cascos Azules de la Cultura”. In Italy, a Task Force of the “Blue Helmets of Culture” intervened in the Marche region following the extreme weather emergency of September 2022 in order to safeguard the cultural heritage menaced by the harsh climate conditions. (@OnuItalia)

OnuItalia
OnuItaliahttps://onuitalia.com
Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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