LIVE PANEL: Following Brexit, will the UK become a centre of cultural racketeering?

Will the UK become a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property?

On March 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM New York / 5:00 PM London, join the Antiquities Coalition for an engaging discussion with Think Tank Policy Brief author Fionnuala Rogers, Chair of UKBS, and an expert panel on the impact of the UK’s decision to repeal the EU Import Regulation in Great Britain, and recommendations for next steps.

What was the UK’s reasoning behind the decision to repeal the regulation (and failure to replace it)?

Will this repeal create a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property through Northern Ireland, where the regulation still applies?

And, how can the UK take advantage of this unique opportunity to adopt bespoke practices that fight cultural racketeering? 

Register for the Zoom webinar here.


Meet the Speakers

Sophie V. Hayes

Sophie Hayes has been a Detective Constable in the Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit since 2016. She recently completed an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at University College London.

Alexander Herman

Alexander Herman is Director of the Institute of Art and Law and co-directs the Art, Business and Law LLM developed with Queen Mary University of London. His new book ‘Restitution – The Return of Cultural Artefacts’ is out now.

Tova Ossad 

Tova Ossad is the founder of Ossad Art Management, a bespoke registrar consultancy that is focused on the import and export of art in the United Kingdom, European and the United States as well as the application and administration of Temporary Admission accounts, British and European customs procedures, adjusting to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, advice on storage solutions, and collections management. 

Fionnuala Rogers

Founder and Director of Canvas Art Law and Chair of U.K. Committee of the Blue Shield, Ms. Rogers has been working in art law for 10 years, with a particular interest in cultural property and extensive experience in art and heritage in the Middle East, where she regularly works. She is the author of the AC Think Tank Policy Brief “Following the UK’s Repeal of the EU Import Regulation in Great Britain, will Northern Ireland become a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property? Recommendations for the UK to mitigate this risk and seize the opportunity to strike the right balance.”

Fionnuala Rogers worked with the major NGO Think Tank, The Antiquities Coalition, to release of a Policy Brief that analyses the UK’s decision to Repeal the EU Import Regulation in Great Britain and prevent the resulting risk of Northern Ireland becoming a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property. Rogers argues that the repeal creates a gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property through Northern Ireland, where the regulation still applies, and that the UK must take immediate steps to mitigate that risk.


Read the Brief

This paper makes a series of recommendations to encourage the UK to rationalize its regulatory approach, meet its international commitments, and to set a leading example for other art market countries in cultural heritage protection.

“The objectives of the Regulation are both urgent and necessary, namely to safeguard humanity’s cultural heritage and prevent the illicit trade in cultural goods, particularly where such illicit trade could contribute to terrorist financing. The objective of the UK should be to strike a balance between prevention of illicit trafficking and maintaining a legitimate art market, while trying to streamline requirements, procedures and practices across the UK as much as possible when it comes to import.

Fionnuala Rogers

For a summary and link to the policy brief, visit: https://thinktank.theantiquitiescoalition.org/following-the-uks-repeal-of-the-eu-import-regulation-in-great-britain-will-northern-ireland-become-a-gateway-to-europe-for-illicit-cultural-property-recommendations-for-the-uk-to-mitigate/

The paper follows extensive lobbying by the UK Committee of the Blue Shield, including an earlier Press Release highlighting the issue and a Memorandum circulated to UK Government. The House of Lords cited UK Blue Shield and our Memorandum, and called the Government paper “misleading” when we challenged the Government’s approach to N. Ireland in its repeal of EU Reg 2019/880 on the Introduction and Import of Cultural Goods (Hansard Debate).


The Antiquities Coalition is leading the international campaign against cultural racketeering, the illicit trade in ancient art and artifacts. We champion better law and policy, foster diplomatic cooperation, and advance proven solutions with public and private partners worldwide. We are working towards a future when the past is preserved for the next generation, not looted, smuggled, and sold to finance crime, conflict, and terror.

Fionnuala Rogers is a leader in the field of cultural property. Rogers is an art and cultural property lawyer, and founder and director of the specialist art and heritage law firm, Canvas Art Law Ltd. She is Chair of the United Kingdom Committee of the Blue Shield and member of the Blue Shield International Illicit Trafficking working group. 


Read More about the Policy Paper in The Art Newspaper

And in The Telegraph