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Online sales of illicit cultural goods halted

Illegal sales of cultural goods on the Swiss platform of the online auction website eBay have been almost wiped out after a joint crackdown by authorities.

During a three-month pilot project eBay in Switzerland agreed to ban the sale of cultural property classified under "arts and antiques" that did not have an official document from the Swiss archaeological services.

By the end of the trial the number of offers had dropped dramatically, with virtually none offered for sale.

As a result the Federal Culture Office has announced that it plans to launch a further six-month project with eBay in 2009. Receipts or customs papers will no longer be sufficient for online sales via the website.

Three years ago a law banning the illegal trafficking of cultural property came into force in Switzerland - one of the world's top four trade hubs for art objects.


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