The black art market on Facebook

    When social networks attract lawlessness

    “The illicit traffic in the art world has an annual value of 8 billion dollars a year”

    A disconcerting fact what we read in the article of Sole 24Ore on Arteconomy that leaves no room for doubt.

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    In fact, the black art market is the third largest in terms of size, after drugs and weapons. A fact not to be proud of.

    The illegal art market is made up of works of art stolen from museums or private individuals, from the looting of sites and archaeological excavations, from fake works and documents or from the trafficking of cultural properties stolen during times of war, which the nucleus of the Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Italy, as well as the organizations of other nations try to contrast with all the available means.

    Among the new strategies developed by organized crime to trade stolen artifacts we find the use of Facebook, as confirmed by the article of Arteconomy by Marilena Pirrelli.

    The social platform created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, appears to be among the most used, where between selfies and private photos of users, it seems that the illegal trade of works of art and cultural heritage is more flourishing than ever.
    Europe is the largest exporter of art and antiquity.
    The “clean” European art market amounts to $ 14.6 billion, but consider that even in this case, illegal proceeds are generated for organized crime, money laundering vehicles and terrorist financing.
    At the moment the illicit traffic seems unable to be stopped.
    The Agreement for the use of Facebook by users does not include, among the prohibited exchanges on the community, those linked to illicit cultural property with serious damage and without repercussions.
    Furthermore it is not possible to make claims on Facebook, which pursuant to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, cannot be held responsible for third-party content published on the platform.
    What is certain is that experts from all over the world are crying out that the competent authorities should act and ensure that a publicly traded company ceases to be the largest online black market platform.
    The constant monitoring of social media by the authorities therefore becomes urgent, if not decisive, to stop the trafficking of goods.


    One fact remains: buying works of art with an unclear and certified origin can become a false step for the collector with inevitably negative consequences.

    And you, have you ever bought works of art on Facebook?


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