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Last Updated: March 06, 2015 11:14:48

Christine FeehanWelcome to my research pages on the Drake Sisters. I really enjoy working on these books. This page is a collection of information that inspired and aided me in creating my stories. In time I will be adding more to this section. I hope you enjoy!


  • A unique global police communication system.
  • A range of criminal databases and analytical services.
  • Proactive support for police operations throughout the world.


The theft of cultural objects affects developed and developing countries alike. The two countries most affected by this phenomenon are France and Italy. The illicit trade in cultural objects is sustained by the demand from the arts market, the opening of borders, the improvement in transport systems and the political instability of certain countries.

It is difficult to gauge the extent of the trade for two reasons
  • The theft is very often not discovered until the stolen objects are found on the official arts market.

  • Countries send very little information to Interpol and many do not keep statistics on this type of criminality.

In order to combat the theft of cultural property, the relevant organizations and the public need to be made more aware of the problem. This is the primary objective of these web pages.

International organizations must lead the way in this fight, and since 1947, Interpol has been specifically involved. The first international notice on stolen works of art was published in that same year. Since then, the techniques have evolved greatly and Interpol has developed a highly efficient system for circulating information in the form of a database accessible to Interpol member countries, as well as the more widely available Interpol Stolen Works of Art CD-ROM.

All information regarding Interpol
is from their official website: http://www.interpol.int.


The General Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General of the Organization, who is appointed by the General Assembly for a period of 5 years. He may be re-elected.

The Secretary General is effectively the Organization’s chief full-time official. He is responsible for seeing that the day-to-day work of international police co-operation is carried out, and the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and Executive Committee.

Click here
for more information about the structure of Interpol.


  • Centralize information: information sent to the General Secretariat is analysed and entered in the 'Works of Art' database. Our role is to give added value to information received.

  • Transmit information: received to member countries and official partners as rapidly as possible

  • Develop the tools: to enable member countries to counter the traffic in cultural property effectively

  • Organize international conferences: either in Lyon or in member countries. The most recent meetings were held in Lyon in May 2003 and October 2002, and in Brijuni, Croatia, in June 2001.

  • Organize training courses: on countering the traffic in cultural property (e.g. Bogotá, Colombia, November 2002 and Santiago, Chile, March 2004).

  • Maintain close working relationships: with the international organizations involved in countering the traffic in cultural property (i.e. UNESCO, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Council of Europe and the International Council of Museums (ICOM)). Interpol has signed memoranda of understanding with UNESCO, WCO and ICOM.

  • Participate: in international conferences and workshops throughout the world.


  • International stolen cultural property notices: From 1947 until March 2000, the General Secretariat circulated international stolen cultural property notices. These notices contained photographs of the stolen works of art, together with descriptions in English and French. Circulation of the notices ceased as a result of developments in computer tools making distribution of paper copies obsolete.

  • 'Most wanted works of art' posters: Since 1972, the General Secretariat has published special notices for particularly valuable stolen works of art. Until 1986, these notices were known as 'THE 12 MOST WANTED WORKS OF ART' and were published on average once a year. Since 1987, the notice design has undergone complete revision and they now appear in the form of a poster published in June and December every year, entitled 'THE MOST WANTED WORKS OF ART', illustrating six items. Since 1998, the poster has been printed in colour.

  • An effective telecommunications network: To further enhance efficiency, Interpol has developed a new, secure telecommunications system which is even faster and more effective, based on Internet technology: the I-24/7 system. It takes only a few minutes to send information to all member countries.

  • Computerized database: In 1995, the Interpol General Secretariat produced a new database for works of art combining descriptions and pictures. This database - developed by police officers for police officers - currently contains over 26,000 items.

    To enable member countries to supply information in a format which can be entered in the database, the General Secretariat has produced standard forms, known as CRIGEN/ART, which are available in the Organization's four official languages (Arabic, English, French, and Spanish). These forms, based on a very simplified visual description, help police officers with a limited knowledge of cultural property to describe the objects. The forms are essential for the circulation of information as they enable an object to be described in the same way, regardless of language or culture.

    Only fully identifiable objects are entered in the database.

  • Remote access to the database: Since the end of January 1999, it has been possible for NCBs with the necessary technical equipment to consult the database remotely, by means of specially developed software called EASYFORM, which can be used in English, French or Spanish. This constitutes a considerable step forward, as information entered in the General Secretariat database can now be consulted from anywhere in the world within a few minutes.

  • Interpol Stolen Works of Art CD-ROM: As access to our database is restricted to law-enforcement agencies, the General Secretariat has produced a CD-ROM to circulate information on stolen works of art to private bodies (e.g. museums, antique dealers, collectors, etc.) and enable them to take appropriate action. It is updated every two months, is available on subscription and can be consulted in English, French or Spanish. The Interpol Stolen Works of Art CD-ROM contains information which member countries have reported to the General Secretariat and allow to be circulated to the general public for preventive purposes. However, the CD-ROM is not in any way intended to be a complete database of all works of art stolen throughout the world. Subscribers are therefore informed that the CD-ROM is only one of the 'reasonably accessible registers' referred to in the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention. Article 4(4) of that Convention states that 'In determining whether the possessor exercised due diligence, regard shall be had to all the circumstances of the acquisition, including the character of the parties, the price paid, whether the possessor consulted any reasonably accessible register of stolen cultural objects, and any other relevant information and documentation which it could reasonably have obtained, and whether the possessor consulted accessible agencies or took any other step that a reasonable person would have taken in the circumstances.'

    The CD-ROM also contains the texts of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the UNIDROIT Convention, a list with photographs of objects at risk (e.g. the ICOM Red List), and Object ID, an international standard for describing a work of art, which is fully compatible with Interpol's CRIGEN/ART forms. The CD-ROM meets the needs of art dealers who, until now, had found it very difficult to know whether a work of art offered to them for sale was stolen or not.

  • Internet site: In July 2000, the General Secretariat set up the Internet site. All information sent to the General Secretariat before the CD-ROM is next updated is published on the Internet site under the heading 'Recent thefts', thus allowing information contained in the CD-ROM to be updated on a daily basis.

    Click here to visit the site.


Orange Notice
Used to warn police, public bodies and other international organizations of possible threats to them from hidden weapons, parcel bombs and other dangerous items or material.

History of The Orange Notice:

Orange Notices, the first new Interpol notice to be created since 1946, would be issued from the General Secretariat in Lyon, France, via the organization's National Central Bureaus in its 181 member countries. Interpol already issues a series of colour-coded notices, including the famous Red Notice for wanted international fugitives.

Orange Notice's contain the following:

  • Information about objects, materials or other threats that would be of concern to security officials at the world's institutions and organizations.

  • Images of objects, materials or other threats that would be of concern to security officials at the world's institutions and organizations.

What's the notice production process?

Notices often concern fugitives, terrorists and violent criminals posing imminent danger to citizens throughout the world and perpetrators of other forms of serious crime of an international dimension. Therefore, notices demand an urgent response by the General Secretariat and the National Central Bureaus.

The General Secretariat has set up an electronic procedure for requesting the publication and circulation of notices. This service is available on the restricted web site and also via the new I-24/7 communication system, and provides a secure, speedy and efficient means for transmitting and processing notices. All new notices are now published in this way. The General Secretariat has also introduced a 72-hour production deadline for high priority notices, such as notices for terrorists.

In addition, it is Interpol's aim to publish all red, orange, yellow and black notices also on its public website unless there is an expressed objection by a member country directly concerned. Public knowledge of an arrest warrant is often of great value to law enforcement agencies in their efforts to obtain important police information.

Click here for more information about Interpol's International Notices System.


Interpol recently launched a state-of-the-art global communication system to connect its member countries and provide them with user-friendly access to police information. Called I-24/7 (Interpol, 24 hours a day, seven days a week), this secure and unique cutting-edge law enforcement tool is designed to keep a step ahead of international crime.

Click here for more information about I-24/7.


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