Crimes against cultural property are a global concern that require equally global solutions. The alienation and destruction of heritage objects affect everyone, insofar as cultural assets are not only the legacy of each country, but also of humanity as a whole. Therefore, being a scourge that affects human rights, democracy and the rule of law, in 2017, the Council of Europe opened for signature the Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property, known as the Nicosia Convention, which entered into force on 1 April 2022.

This criminal law treaty is the only legally binding instrument aimed at preventing and combating such crimes by strengthening criminal justice responses while promoting international cooperation.

The high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, held in 2023 in Reykjavik, included in its Declaration considerations closely related to the Nicosia Convention: the protection of cultural heritage, the right of children to enjoy their own culture and the fight against organised crime. Additionally, in 2024 the 70th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe is being celebrated, a cultural pillar aimed at safeguarding the common cultural heritage of Europe and promoting dialogue and mutual understanding.

In this context, and as a result of the spirit of mutual collaboration, the Council of Europe is organising an international event to be held on 20-21 June 2024 in Zaragoza, aimed exchanging good practices and bringing together the national contact points of this criminal-law convention to work towards shared priorities.

Through this joint work, participants will have the opportunity to strengthen their national and international co-operation networks and thus increase the level of protection of world cultural heritage.

For more information, please visit the website of the Council of Europe.