Just two weeks ago Austria ratified the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. This brings the tally of States Parties to the Convention to an impressive total of 129 (out of 193 countries in the world). The non-ratifying States include mainly those of South-East Asia (minus Cambodia and Vietnam) and East Africa.
Over the last 15 years, a number of important market States have joined the ‘family’ (including Switzerland, Japan, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and now Austria), helping to increase the overall effectivity of the Convention. Until last month, Austria had been one of only two major European countries left outside the fold. The other was (and remains) Ireland.
The next big push will be for the Emerald Isle to join up (at least the bottom 3/4 of it). Come on, lads, get your act together!