About CATF

The Cultural Antiquities Task Force (CATF) comprises federal agencies that share a common mission to combat trafficking in antiquities in the United States and abroad.

Along with coordinating activities among member agencies, the CATF focuses on training law enforcement and customs officials, as well as supporting local governments, museums, and preservationists around the world in the protection, recovery, and restoration of cultural antiquities. Created by the State Department in 2004 at the direction of the U.S. Congress, the CATF is led by ECA’s Cultural Heritage Center and, as of 2016, is a working group of the Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee.

Principal Activities

  • Promote close law enforcement coordination among U.S. government member agencies
  • Train U.S. law enforcement personnel on the application of U.S. laws and international agreements and the identification of looted and stolen antiquities
  • Build capacity of foreign law enforcement and heritage managers to protect and preserve sites and objects
  • Support the production and distribution of tools and products—such as Red Lists of Cultural Objects at Risk—designed to enhance the ability of law enforcement to combat theft, looting, and trafficking of historically and culturally significant objects

Member Agencies

  • Department of State
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of the Treasury
Number of domestic & international cultural property training programs supported by CATF since 2004