US Should Create Data Base to Track Antiquities Looted by Daesh

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankDamage in the National Museum of Palmyra plundered by terrorists
Damage in the National Museum of Palmyra plundered by terrorists - Sputnik International
The US government should set up a data base to protect Syrian and Iraqi antiquities from being looted by the Daesh terror group, and track those valuables that have been seized already, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, signed into law in 1983, and other laws, the United States has restricted the importation of certain, but not all, Iraqi and Syrian cultural property, the GAO said.

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"Art market experts suggested the creation of a database including information, such as museum catalogues, that could help verify if art market items were stolen," the report said on Monday. "US officials GAO contacted generally agreed with this suggestion."

Department of State officials noted that the agency already provides funding to support several projects annually to inventory museum and archaeological sites, including in countries where cultural property may be at risk, the GAO acknowledged.

"The Islamic State [Daesh] … and other groups have seized upon the conflicts in Iraq and Syria to destroy, loot, and traffic cultural property, including antiquities. According to the United Nations, this destruction and looting has reached unprecedented levels," the report warned.

Daesh has been outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries around the world.

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