Combat against Illicit Traffic
Floris Guntenaar, CulturalHeritage.cc Foundation, the Netherlands
Published paper: Combat against Illicit Traffic
Present unworkable situation:
The European Commission requires the owner of disputed objects to prove that an object has not been stolen.
Approximately 125 databases of missing objects are presently available on the Internet.
This decentralized storage of relevant information makes combatting illicit traffic nearly impossible. Originally meant as a public information database to be consulted by police, custom, art dealers and others, the Art Loss Register makes searching by the average Sherlock – who is not trained as an Art Historian – nearly impossible if not unworkable.
The solution to the present problem is the cooperation of museum networks working ‘bottom-up’ within their domains instead of the present ‘top-down’ process by Police, Customs and Interpol, who are bound by a diversity of laws and local regulations – which resulted in the current 125 scattered databases of stolen art.
Our paper will address these legal problems, the solutions offered based on the most recent IT developments in Collection Management Systems, a proposed data model, the synchronization of data packages and quick and the easy ‘positive’ registration and documentation of cultural heritage objects.