Interpol has developed a mobile software to fight art and artefact stealing.

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The software gives law enforcement and the general public access to Interpol’s archive of looted works of art, among other things.

Interpol also released a new app that employs cutting-edge image-recognition tools to assist in the identification of missing intellectual property, as well as to minimise theft and improve the chances of retrieving stolen items.

ID-Art is a free app that can be downloaded from the Apple app store, as well as the Google or Android play stores.

The software provides law enforcement and the general public with access to Interpol’s archive of looted works of art, as well as the ability to inventory private art collections and report at-risk cultural sites.

During the app’s pilot process, it was used to identify two stolen sculptures in Italy and two stolen works in Amsterdam.

The use of international standards in the creation of the app’s inventory assists museums and collectors in providing evidence to law enforcement in the event of theft, increasing the likelihood of it being recovered.

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ID-Art provides consumers with access to Interpol’s Lost Works of Art database, which Interpol claims is the first national database of records on stolen and damaged art pieces certified by police. Users can search the database by manually inserting search parameters or uploading a picture.

Users may also document and archive artefacts at cultural and archaeological sites, providing a foundation for preservation or evidence if the site is robbed.

“In recent years we’ve witnessed the unprecedented ransack by terrorists of the cultural heritage of countries arising from armed  conflict, organized  looting and cultural cleansing,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“This new tool is a significant step forward in enhancing the ability of police officers, cultural heritage professionals and the general public to protect our common heritage.”


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