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The war on stolen artefacts 

Switzerland was once a hot destination for stolen cultural artefacts. But now it’s trying hard to secure the return of treasures.  

This content was published on November 12, 2020 - 17:00

It's working closely with the Italian authorities. The latest handover was in October: the Swiss gave the Italian embassy in Bern 27 objects of huge historic and artistic value. These included 26 Etruscan artefacts from a private collection and a 2,000-year-old marble bust, found at the Geneva free port. 

The illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts is the world’s third-largest illegal market, after drugs and weapons. Countries such as Italy, which has a rich cultural heritage, have been working hard for decades to stop it. 

As the Lugano lawyer and expert in art law Dario Jucker explains, stolen cultural property represents a vast illegal market. 


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