Protecting Cultural Heritage: A Review of Some Contemporary Developments in Australia and Near Environs 1
This chapter examines two recent cases and demonstrates the difficult investigative and legal issues that arise in Australia in identifying and prosecuting those responsible for the illicit trade as well as seizing looted objects. The two authors were themselves involved in these cases in varying ways to be described, and that some of the information provided the results from that involvement. Both cases arose as a result of seizures made in 2010 by Australian federal law enforcement officials from BC Galleries (BCG), a well-established art and antiquities dealership in Melbourne, Victoria, of various artefacts which were believed to have been illegally exported from Cambodia, China and the Philippines. The chapter concludes with some observations on the effectiveness or otherwise of the current legislative and allied measures in place in Australia designed to prevent the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage objects at large, and in particular those from the Asian region.