IADAA – Guidelines on due diligence when purchasing ancient objects

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February 23, 2012 – The International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) requires members to undertake all reasonable due diligence when acquiring antiquities. To assist in this, the Association attaches below guidelines which should be followed by members.

1. Require a vendor to provide their name and address and to sign and date a form identifying the item for sale and confirming that it is the unencumbered property of the vendor which they are authorised to sell.
2. Verify the identity and address of new vendors and record the details.
3. Pay particular attention in the case of any item offered for sale where the asking price does not equate to its market value.
4. If you are offered an item you know to be stolen
(a) Attempt to retain the item while enquiries are made
(b) Contact the appropriate authorities
(c) Check with the relevant stolen property registers
5. Look critically at any instance when requested to pay in cash and avoid doing so unless there is a strong and reputable reason to the contrary. In the absence of such a reason pay by cheque or other method that provides an audit trail.
6. Be aware of money laundering regulations.
7. Ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities in respect of the above code

Please note that member’s national laws must be considered with regard to the above.

Adhering to these guidelines is only one way in which members seek to uphold the legal trade in antiquities. More information on IADAA’s measures for more active and effective protection of cultural property can be found on the continually updated website of IADAA.