5-speed listening (Artwork - Level 2)

Over 19,000 pieces of stolen artwork found






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World police worked together to find lots of missing art. Detectives from Interpol, Europol, national police forces and customs officers found more than 19,000 items of artwork. These include an ancient Colombian gold mask that is over 600 years old. There was also a carved Roman lion, and centuries-old jewellery and ancient coins. Many items the police recovered were stolen from museums and archaeological sites. Many were taken from countries at war. The thieves took cultural treasures while countries were fighting civil wars or wars against other countries.

The police arrested 101 art traffickers in Spain, Colombia, Latvia, Afghanistan and Turkey. Police officers spent a long time checking online marketplaces to find the art and the thieves. Interpol spoke to journalists about the size of the operation. It said: "The number of arrests and objects shows the scale and global reach of the illicit trade in cultural artefacts....Every country with a rich heritage is a potential target....Organised crime has many faces. The trafficking of cultural goods is one of them. It is not a glamorous business run by...gentlemen forgers, but by international criminal networks."

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