Public hearing on Egypt’s request for import restrictions of antiquities into the US

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On June 2, 2014 the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) held a public session in consideration of Egypt’s request for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to impose import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological artifacts into the US. There were approximately 40 attendees in addition to the members of the Committee and Cultural Heritage Center personnel. Of the 11 presenters, eight spoke in support of … Read More

Do you think all nations should help protect one another’s cultural heritage?

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On June 2, 2014, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will begin its review of Egypt’s request that the US impose import restrictions on Egyptian antiquities in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), made under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO Convention). Written public comments submitted earlier are posted here. … Read More

China’s “other” looting problem

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Chinese bronze heads of a rat and rabbit returned by Pinault

One might rejoice at today’s news about the Christie’s owner François Pinault’s offer to return two bronze animal heads to China, a “cause célèbre for Chinese nationalists” has garnered start-studded attention from Ai Weiwei to Jackie Chan, Yves Saint Laurent, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Dalia Lama and now the head of the PPR, maker of luxury fashion goods, husband of movie … Read More

MOU between the US and Belize Closes Loophole

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In joining forces with the US to prevent looting, Belize stands in solidarity with its neighboring countries in the Maya region. The Honorable Jose Manuel Heredia, Belize Minister of Tourism and Culture, signed into effect a bilateral agreement between the governments of the United States and Belize under the 1970 UNESCO convention. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) places import restrictions … Read More

Captain Gunter’s “loot”: Antiquities from China’s Summer Palace continue to sell at auction

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Qing dynasty gold box sold at Woolley and Wallis auction house

The sale of a 8.5 by 5.8 centimeter Qing dynasty (late 18th- early 19th century) gold box for £490,000 ($764,694.00) at London auction house Woolley and Wallis has provoked an international debate. The gold box, embellished with seed pearls, enamel glass panels, and floral motifs, inscribed in 1860 “Loot from Summer Palace, Perkin, October 1860, Captain James Gunter, King’s Dragoon … Read More

Do Bulgarians want import restrictions on antiquities into the US?

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Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at the signing of the US-Greece MOU SAFE received the following letter written by the Chairman of Buditel Circle, a non-governmental organization, to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in support of Bulgaria’s request for a bilateral agreement with the US to protect its cultural heritage. SAFE, a US based non-governmental and nonprofit organization which … Read More

CPAC to review requests by Bulgaria and Belize for Memoranda of Understanding with the U.S.

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The U.S. Department of State has issued a Notice of the Meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to take place November 15-17, 2011. The Committee will begin its review of new cultural property requests from the Governments of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Belize seeking import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material. On November 16, an … Read More

Bilateral agreements at work

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On March 11, 2011, the U.S. returned 14 ancient artifacts to China that had been seized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from illicit traffickers in 2010. “Following the signing of an agreement between the United States and China in 2009, the two countries have been working closely to prevent illicit trafficking … Read More