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COVID-19 linked to expected glut of stolen art for sale online, warns UN cultural agency

If you were offered the chance to buy a stunning African artefact, apparently with the blessing of the UN, what would you do?

For many people, it’s not obvious that the Organization never endorses or validates in any way, the sale of cultural treasures from any country.

In a warning to art lovers, the UN agency responsible for protecting endangered cultural heritage, UNESCO, has also said that increased pillaging of endangered World Heritage Sites during COVID-19 lockdowns, will likely result in a glut of stolen artefacts appearing online.

The development follows news of a new and sophisticated fraud ring that has been conning victims by using fake UNESCO permits.

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, explains how to avoid being taken in by this lucrative scam. 

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