Spanish police have arrested two men for allegedly smuggling pieces of art looted by groups affiliated with ISIS from sites in Libya.
Authorities there believe this to be the first ever police operation against the financing of terrorism through the looting of art. The suspects, both 31-year-old Spanish nationals, are art experts who bought the pieces — known in the market as “blood antiquities” — to sell in their gallery, according to a police statement Wednesday that did not specify where the gallery was located. Police named them only as Mr. O.C.P and Mr. J.B.P.
The statement said that the suspects were part of a Catalonia-based network with international reach dedicated to the retail of artworks from territories controlled by groups affiliated to ISIS.