Clause 2 - Meaning of ''tainted cultural object''

Part of Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 2:30 pm, 14th May 2003

I take the hon. Gentleman's point, and it is those sorts of technicalities that I hope the Minister will be able to address. I hope that he will be able to say that the clause would not give rise to the events that I am suggesting.

Someone could legitimately remove a cultural object from a site in Italy, for example, and legitimately sell it on the open market. That object could end up in London, in the possession of a legitimate art dealer. However, the circumstances in which the object was removed could pertain to the fact that the person who removed it from the site was the subject of criminal proceedings for some other matter. That is the act that could lead to it to becoming a tainted good, and that is the problem. The amendment says more specifically that it is the act of removal that counts in deciding whether a good is tainted, not the circumstances of the person.