Melanie Gerlis, "The Art Market: Antiquity trade under pressure" Financial Times October 21, 2016
The antiquities trade is under pressure again. As Cyprus prepares for its presidency of the Council of Europe, which promotes human rights, high on the agenda is combating illicit trafficking in cultural property. Ioannis Kasoulides, Cyprus’s foreign minister, has called for a “robust” UN Security Council resolution to “apply universal limitations on the trade and transfer of artefacts originating from all conflict zones, with the obligation of proof of legitimate trade resting on the traders, auction houses and buyers and not on the originating state”. This represents a reversal of the current burden of proof system. “It is the equivalent of saying that everything in your home is stolen and can be confiscated unless you have proof that it’s not,” says Joanna van der Lande, chairman of the Antiquities Dealers’ Association.