Twenty-one Italian art and archaeological treasures that were recovered by Carabinieri police are on display in the Austrian capital at an exhibition organised under Italy's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
The exhibition entitled "Recovered Treasures" is on at Vienna's Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) until 8 July. It aims to highlight the work of the Carabinieri's cultural heritage department and the role diplomacy plays in fighting the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage, the ministry said.
The illicit trafficking and sale of cultural artefacts is a global business worth six billion dollars a year and part of these ill-gotten gains fund terrorism, the ministry stated, citing Interpol data.
Increasing public awareness and enhancing cooperation between national police forces to combat this the ancient Mediterranean scourge of stolen and trafficked treasures is one of the priorities of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship, the ministry underlined.