NEWS IN SHORT

New database of stolen works of art

FROM the beginning of next year, a new national database, the Central Register of Stolen and Found Works of Art and Antiquities, will be launched to replace the existing system, police spokesman Viktor Plézel told the SITA newswire.

FROM the beginning of next year, a new national database, the Central Register of Stolen and Found Works of Art and Antiquities, will be launched to replace the existing system, police spokesman Viktor Plézel told the SITA newswire.

New technology will allow part of the data to be made accessible to the public via the internet. The database will contain extra statistical data and other information to help police search for stolen antiquities and works of art; it will also be linked to the information systems of other countries. The European Union plans to create a common database for all member states in the near future, Plézel said.

Police statistics suggest that criminality connected with theft of works of art or burglaries of historical buildings declined in 2007 and the first quarter of 2008; also, the clear-up rate in such criminal cases has improved. Slovakia joining the Schengen zone has not had a strong effect on such criminal activity, Police spokesperson Andrea Polačiková said.

In combating such crimes, the police closely co-operate with the Culture Ministry. For thieves, archaeological finds remain attractive, since goods from them are profitable and can be traded on the market for cultural and historical items.

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