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Conventions & Agreements on Illicit Trade

CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTS ON ILLICIT TRADE OF CULTURAL PROPERTY

The aim of this section is to help you find up-to-date information on government regulations concerning illicit trade of art and antiques that are considered cultural goods. Our goal is to keep this information timely and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, CINOA accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information highlighted in this section. The information provided is purely for information and does not constitute advice. We encourage you to seek advice with respect to any particular transaction.

Key international Conventions on illicit trade of cultural property include:

•    1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague Convention) -The first comprehensive international agreement on the protection of cultural property inoccupied territories (Click here for more information)
   
•   1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing theI llicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property – Concerned with the protection through prevention of export from source countryand import into other countries (Click here for more information)

•   1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects – Aims to establish common rules for the restitution and returnof cultural objects between State Parties to the convention (Click herefor more information)

There are also a number of other UNESCO conventions, declarations and recommendations promote, directly or indirectly, cultural diversity.
www.Unesco.org   select the language of your choice and then the theme culture

Multilateral and Bilateral Agreements to combat the illicit trade of art and antiques that can be considered cultural goods include:

EU Directives:

•   European Union Directive on the return of cultural objects – Seeks to secure the return of national treasures of artistic, historic or archaeological value that have been unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (Click here for more information)

•   European Union Regulation on the Export of Cultural goods (CouncilRegulation No.3911/92) – Seeks to harmonize export controls for cultural goods at the European Community’s external borders (Click herefor more information)

USA Bilateral Agreements:
To date,the U.S. has entered into cultural property bilateral agreements or taken emergency action to protect archaeological and/or ethnological materials in Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada (expired), Colombia, CyprusArchaeological Material, Cyprus Ethnological Material, El Salvador,Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mali, Nicaragua, and Peru. A chart, copied from the State Department website, summarizes this information,including when each restriction went into effect.

For more information
Moreinformation on official text and documents can be found on the websiteof the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: section International Cultural Property Protection. Inaddition, under the section ‘What’s new?’ upcoming Cultural PropertyAdvisory Committee Meetings with public sessions are announced here aswell as official up-dates of emerging, current, and expiring bilateral agreements.
The website address of the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is http://exchanges.state.gov/
Informationregarding the application of these agreements can be sought from the national trade associations which can be accessed through this website or from the CINOA secretariat.