Switzerland was once a hot destination for stolen cultural artefacts. But now it’s trying hard to secure the return of treasures.
It's working closely with the Italian authorities. The latest handover was in October: the Swiss gave the Italian embassy in Bern 27 objects of huge historic and artistic value. These included 26 Etruscan artefacts from a private collection and a 2,000-year-old marble bust, found at the Geneva free port. The illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts is the world’s third-largest illegal market, after drugs and weapons. Countries such as Italy, which has a rich cultural heritage, have been working hard for decades to stop it. As the Lugano lawyer and expert in art law Dario Jucker explains, stolen cultural property represents a vast illegal market.