In Latin America, looting of archaeological sites and thefts from museums and religious edifices are inflicting irreparable damage on the heritage of the continent and of mankind as a whole. Objects are being wantonly removed from their historical context to satisfy the growing international demand for antiquities.
Faced with an emergency situation, the international community of heritage professionals has drawn up a Red List of Latin-American Cultural Objects at Risk to help put a stop to the illicit trade in cultural property.
This list contains 25 examples of specific pre-Columbian and Colonial heritage categories which are systematically looted throughout Latin America and are in great demand on the illegal antiquities market.
All the categories of object in the Red List are protected by legislation and banned from export, and may under no circumstances be imported or put on sale. The Red List is an appeal to museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors not to acquire these objects.
The Red List is also designed to help customs officials, police officers and art dealers to identify them.
This is a list of the types of object from Latin America which are particularly at risk and most likely to be stolen. It is in no way exhaustive. Because of the tremendous variety of objects, styles, and periods, any antiquity from Latin America should be viewed with suspicion.