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Italy, Cyprus to combat antiquities trafficking

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Communications Minister Yiannis Karousos said Cyprus and Italy are in consultation for training programmes to suppress illicit trafficking of antiquities and clandestine excavation.

Addressing an event entitled Digging History – 50 Years of Archaeological Relations Between Cyprus And Italy, the minister aid that contacts are already in place with the Cyprus Police, the Department of Antiquities and the Carabinieri for a training course on combating clandestine excavation and illicit trafficking of antiquities.

He said growing bilateral relations with Italy are important, especially in combating illicit trafficking of antiquities, a sector where Italy holds extensive expertise and pioneers in relevant issues.

Specifically, with Italy, he remarked, the collaboration and expertise of the Carabinieri, whose Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage has proven that results can be achieved when proper mechanisms are in place.

Regarding the half-century presence of Italian archaeological missions in Cyprus, Karousos said research from Italian academics had been marked since 1969 by the Italian Archaeological Mission of the National Research Council at Agia Eirini cemeteries.

He said an increasing number of foreign archaeological missions work in the Republic due to the policies enacted by the Department of Antiquities, coupled with a growing international interest in the archaeology of Cyprus.

“We are most delighted that Italy continues to research and promote Cypriot archaeology.”

The event was organised by the Italian Embassy in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities. (source CNA)