Security implications of the art market

By Alice Munnelly

Illicit traffic in art and antiquities is by no means a new phenomenon, but its role in facilitating international insecurity is increasingly appreciable. As described in the EU’s 2020 Security Union Strategy, ‘trafficking in cultural goods has become one of the most lucrative criminal activities and a source of funding for terrorists as well as organised crime’ (1). The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the radical jihadist group that has perpetrated or inspired some of the deadliest terrorist attacks on EU Member States in recent years, is known to have institutionalised this traffic as a source of fiscal income. Despite growing awareness of this fact, the wider ways in which the legitimate art market can be exploited for nefarious purposes such as sanctions evasion and money laundering are relatively understudied. Closer scrutiny of the art market – a grey economic arena that can utilise licit methods and legitimate actors to produce illicit money – is an important step in combating the major security threat that stems from the link between organised crime and terrorist groups (2). This Brief examines four ways in which the art market serves illicit groups: money laundering; financial accumulation in safe havens like freeports; commercialisation through galleries and auction houses of cultural objects tainted by illegality; and use of cultural objects as collateral and/or payment for drugs or weapons. It assesses the structural factors that facilitate these processes, particularly the market’s commercial, valuation, authentication, transport and legitimation dynamics.

p/o Virginie Gastine Menou

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Publié le 11 novembre 2021 par

Virginie GASTINE MENOU

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Security implications of the art market

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By Alice Munnelly

Illicit traffic in art and antiquities is by no means a new phenomenon, but its role in facilitating international insecurity is increasingly appreciable. As described in the EU’s 2020 Security Union Strategy, ‘trafficking in cultural goods has become one of the most lucrative criminal activities and a source of funding for terrorists as well as organised crime’ (1). The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the radical jihadist group that has perpetrated or inspired some of the deadliest terrorist attacks on EU Member States in recent years, is known to have institutionalised this traffic as a source of fiscal income. Despite growing awareness of this fact, the wider ways in which the legitimate art market can be exploited for nefarious purposes such as sanctions evasion and money laundering are relatively understudied. Closer scrutiny of the art market – a grey economic arena that can utilise licit methods and legitimate actors to produce illicit money – is an important step in combating the major security threat that stems from the link between organised crime and terrorist groups (2). This Brief examines four ways in which the art market serves illicit groups: money laundering; financial accumulation in safe havens like freeports; commercialisation through galleries and auction houses of cultural objects tainted by illegality; and use of cultural objects as collateral and/or payment for drugs or weapons. It assesses the structural factors that facilitate these processes, particularly the market’s commercial, valuation, authentication, transport and legitimation dynamics.

p/o Virginie Gastine Menou

RISQUES ET VOUS

http://www.risquesetvous.fr/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/risques-et-vous

✍🏼 Proposer une offre de job : https://graces.community/recruteurs/

💈 Consulter les offres qui vous correspondent : https://job.graces.community/login

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