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Nicosia convention targets trade in 'blood antiquities'

Six countries on Friday signed a Council of Europe convention which criminalises the illegal trade in "blood antiquities" that can be used to finance terrorism, officials said. The initiative, which was launched at a CoE ministerial meeting in Nicosia, comes after jihadists in war-torn Syria and Iraq have looted and sold ancient artefacts to fund their rule. "Today, the international community takes a crucial leap forward in the protection of our cultural heritage, especially in the efforts to combat the trade in blood antiquities by trans-national organised crime and terrorist networks," said Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
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