Shocked by reports that dozens of antiques stolen from the Iraqi city of Mosul were being sold in the country, Germany is all set to introduce a legislation to curb the smuggling of artifacts.
Germany, in the last few days, has been rattled after two local publications came out with startling revelations that the country was indirectly funding the Islamic State (Isis).
The headlines, "Looted art: A race against time," in a weekly newspaper and Germany "a trade hub for illegal art" in another conservative daily has put the German art world in a spot, according to News24.
"It's pretty simple: exporting looted art from conflict-ridden countries such as Syria and Iraq would not be possible if it wasn't for the solid infrastructure that the European art market provides," Ulli Seegers, an art historian at the University of Dusseldorf, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA).
The reports published in the German media has forced the law-makers to introduce stringent regulations. For Germany, especially owing to its Nazi-era past, smuggling of antiques is a sensitive issue.
"As Germans we have a special responsibility considering the looting of art between 1933 and 1945," said Karl-Sax Feddersen of the German Art Dealers Association, referring to the looting of art committed in Nazi Germany.
German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters is planning to put forward a legislation to control the sale of illegal antiques. The draft law is expected to be tabled before German Chancellor Angela Merkel next month for approval of the cabinet.
The country has also set up a special unit under its Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which will be working on regulating the import of ancient artifacts from conflict-ridden countries.
Reports have claimed that illicit trade of artifacts has become a lucrative source of revenue for Isis, as the terrorists are able to easily find willing buyers in Asia, Europe and the United States.