POLICY BRIEF: Think Tank Recommends British Government Close a Gateway for Illicit Cultural Property
Chair of Blue Shield UK, Fionnuala Rogers, has worked with the major NGO Think Tank, The Antiquities Coalition, to release of a Policy Brief that analyses the UK’s decision to Repeal the EU Import Regulation in Great Britain and prevent the resulting risk of Northern Ireland becoming a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property. Rogers argues that the repeal creates a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property through Northern Ireland, where the regulation still applies, and that the UK must take immediate steps to mitigate that risk.
This paper makes a series of recommendations to encourage the UK to rationalize its regulatory approach, meet its international commitments, and to set a leading example for other art market countries in cultural heritage protection.
The paper follows extensive lobbying by the UK Committee of the Blue Shield, including an earlier Press Release highlighting the issue and a Memorandum circulated to UK Government. The House of Lords cited UK Blue Shield and our Memorandum, and called the Government paper "misleading" when we challenged the Government's approach to N. Ireland in its repeal of EU Reg 2019/880 on the Introduction and Import of Cultural Goods (Hansard Debate).