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Saudi Arabia

New laws to curb antiques trade

JEDDAH: The Kingdom has put in place new measures to preserve its national antiquities and to eradicate the illicit trafficking of antiquities and archaeological items.
The new regulations strictly prohibit trafficking in archaeological items or the holding of heritage auctions aimed at selling antiquities without first obtaining the necessary permits from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
According to a report in a local newspaper, licensing for such activities in the Kingdom will be issued through the president of the commission for a period of three years, but only after the applicant meets the specified requirements, such as time constraints and practical aspects regarding activities.
The regulations also stipulate that all those involved in the exchange of antiquities must report to the authorities any heritage items that have been lost or stolen within seven days.
The commission has also approved giving financial rewards for those who report violations of the laws regarding antiquities, museums and urban heritage, in order to encourage honesty and awareness.
As for the auctions of antiquities and popular heritage items, the regulations stipulate that the commission alone is the body of jurisdiction that can grant licenses to hold auctions, and can also specify licensing fees.

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