PACE proposes to complete the provisions of the draft Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property

In an opinion adopted today on the basis of a report by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), PACE welcomed the Committee of Ministers’ initiative in drawing up a Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property and stressed that the new convention of such “broad scope” would enhance law-enforcement efforts by requiring States Parties “to criminalise certain conduct relating to trafficking and destruction of cultural property”.

The Assembly nevertheless proposed some amendments to strengthen the current provisions in the draft text by providing, in particular, for the possibility of criminalising other conduct such as the storage, concealment, transportation and transfer of movable cultural property, and of considering participation in a ‘terrorist group’ as a possible aggravating circumstance, as well as the recording of relevant offences by the Committee of the Parties (the follow-up mechanism). The Assembly also wishes the convention to be open for signature by any other non-member States of the Council of Europe rather than only those non-member States which “participated in the elaboration of the Convention”.