Lithograph of the view of S. Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, taken from Ilha das Cobras, Germany, 19th C. XNUMX. Credit: Foundation
Lithograph of the view of S. Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, taken from Ilha das Cobras, Germany, 19th C. XNUMX. Credit: National Library Foundation

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) launched the Red List Brazil, a bilingual document, in Portuguese and English, which lists the types of cultural objects most vulnerable to international trafficking. The presentation of the list took place on Tuesday (14/2), at the Museum of the Portuguese Language, in São Paulo, in a ceremony with the presence of the Minister of Culture, Margareth Menezes. Prepared in partnership with Brazilian specialists, Red List Brasil has the support of Itaú Cultural and Instituto Moreira Salles.

The objective of Red List Brasil is to help art and heritage professionals, as well as police authorities or even citizens to identify items susceptible to illegal commercialization. It is divided into five categories: books, documents, manuscripts and photographs; archeology; sacred and religious art; ethnographic objects and paleontology.

Cover of Red List Brazil
Cover of Red List Brazil

It is important to point out that the inventoried items (see some of them in the gallery below) in the document were not stolen. They are registered in collections of recognized institutions, are public goods belonging to the Union and indicate, for comparison purposes, the typologies at greater risk. It is also worth noting that such objects are covered by Brazilian legislation aimed at protecting the country's cultural and historical heritage.

According to Roberta Saraiva, director of ICOM Brazil, the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) lists a total of 1.974 objects already trafficked, of which only 48 have been recovered. And, according to INTERPOL, Brazil occupies the 26th position among the countries with the highest number of illegally traded cultural goods.

“We have robust legislation, but the country has continental dimensions, with very porous borders. Therefore, it is always a great difficulty to control the output of these works. So, a document like the Red List is very structuring because, in addition to its practical use, it articulates the different government instances for this heritage protection work”, says Roberta.

The director of ICOM Brazil also participated in the launch, alongside the global president of ICOM, Emma Nardi; the president of ICOM Brasil and executive director of the Museum of the Portuguese Language, Renata Motta; the secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the Government of the State of São Paulo, Marilia Marton; the president of the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM), Fernanda Castro; and the Head of the Ministry of Social Participation and Diversity, Mariana Braga.

The document lists four institutions that must be contacted in case of recognition of one of these objects: the headquarters of ICOM itself, in France; the IPHAN; the National Mining Agency (AMN) and the Brazilian Institute of Museums (Ibram). The list urges museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors not to purchase objects similar to those featured without first rigorously researching their provenance and checking legal documentation.

Established in 1946, ICOM has more than 45 members in its network, from more than 100 countries and territories, and is the only NGO among the six specialized organizations recognized by the United Nations in the fight against the trafficking of cultural goods, alongside from UNESCO, UNIDROIT, INTERPOL, WCO (World Customs Organization) and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). The institution prepares the Red Lists since 2000. 20 have already been published, covering 57 countries on four continents. Recently, ICOM launched an emergency Red List, for Ukraine, due to the war against Russia.




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