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Dec 3, 2014 10:05 AM

UNESCO wants ban on Iraq, Syria art trafficking

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) The head of UNESCO says she's calling on the U.N. Security Council to adopt a ban on the illicit trafficking of cultural objects from conflict zones in Iraq and Syria.

Irina Bokova told The Associated Press the trafficking of objects obtained through illegal excavations in both countries is an industry worth between $7 billion and $15 billion.

Bokova hosted an international conference Wednesday at the Paris headquarters of the U.N. cultural agency to find solutions to preserving endangered heritage, attended by the U.N.'s representatives for Syria and Iraq.

She says that it's critical to stop artifacts being sold in world auction houses since "extremists (are) using this money to fund their activities."

She listed Syria's Aleppo and Iraq's Sufi Sheiks tombs as particular concerns.


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