Clause 1 - Offence of dealing in tainted cultural objects

Part of Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Shona McIsaac Shona McIsaac Labour, Cleethorpes 2:00 pm, 14th May 2003

When the Bill was published at the end of last year and on Second Reading in April, a great many people thought that it was somewhat quaint—a fringe matter that was not of wide interest. As the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam said, the seriousness of the issue has been demonstrated graphically on our television screens

following the conflict in Iraq. On Second Reading, we highlighted the fact that looting is at its most prevalent at times of conflict or political instability.

I am happy to be a sponsor of the Bill. I support the clause and hope that the Bill proceeds through all its stages without any impediment. It is about stealing history and knowledge. Given its seriousness, it must reach the statute book as soon as possible.