Interpol launches app to identify and report stolen art

27/05/2021

The ID-Art app, which launched May 6, allows users to track and identify stolen art through an image recognition system.

According to Interpol, the user has the option of taking a photo via the app or uploading one directly from their phone. The algorithm then embarks on an exhaustive search for matches in its database of more than 52,000 missing works of art.

When the application finds a significant similarity, the application then requests additional information about the work from the user and encourages them to send a report to Interpol.

More than a tool for tracing works and punishing those responsible, Interpol sees its application as a means of prevention in that it will allow potential buyers to conduct due diligence on the works.

During the test phase of the application, two statues were identified in Italy and two paintings in Amsterdam. All four works were stolen.

Available in several languages and on several smartphone interfaces, the application could help combat the illegal trade in stolen works, which is one of the most prosperous black markets. This illegal trade is indeed estimated at 10 billion euros annually by UNESCO, and this figure could well be minimized, as the tracing of these cases is so complex.  To date, the traffic of illegal works is widely used by criminal and terrorist groups to launder and finance their activities.

By the IP/IT team of UGGC Avocats

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2021/05/06/anyone-can-identify-and-report-stolen-art-instantly-with-new-interpol-app/?sh=8b3e3416f2a2

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/unesco-bogus-figure

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