Khartoum - (SMC- Exclusive) The British Police (Scotland Yard) has launched a plan in collaboration with the British Museum and the governments of Sudan and Egypt for curbing looting of pharaonic antiquities by establishment of an accessible database comprising 80,000 pieces through a grant of a million sterling pounds from the Cultural Protection Fund, an affiliate of the British Council.
The website of the Art Newspaper said the presence of the antiquities in the database would not mean it is clean or dirty but it would help police to pursue the source.
The project is supervised by the British Museum’s official of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, which has witnessed great increase in illegal trade in the pharaonic antiquities in the last years.
It said the new database would help in informing about things that have problems, adding that it would also be possible to determine the suspected patterns.
Scotland Yard doesn’t participate directly in establishment of the database. It presents consultancy and it is considered one of the major three partners in the project beside the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Sudanese National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums.
The Secretary of the British Museum, who manages the project, has affirmed that they would not pursue the criminals in a preemptive way, which is the duty of law enforcement agencies, but they would make the market more transparent.
The program would also assist in training of Egyptian and Sudanese antiquities employees in dealing with the international market and tracking illegally exported materials.
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