Stolen - Blood antiquities | DocFilm | DW | 13.07.2021

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Stolen - Blood antiquities

Antiquities stolen in the Middle East have resurfaced in art markets all over the world. Police have joined archaeologists in a global effort to stop criminals trafficking these priceless artefacts.

Watch video 42:31

The pillaging of archaeological artefacts took on an unprecedented scale with the destruction of Palmyra in Syria by the "Islamic State" in 2015, and continued with artefacts stolen from Iraq and Libya. Stolen antiquities have been exhibited at renowned galleries and sold around the world on online markets. The proceeds often end up funding more violence, including that carried out by ISIS.

In this unprecedented year-long investigation we follow special European police units and investigative archaeologists as they reveal a sprawling criminal network. From auction rooms in Paris, Brussels, and New York we trace the thread back to Libya, the new center for criminal dealers, some of whom have links to terrorist groups like ISIS.