Memorandum of Understanding between Peru and the United States concerning cultural properties

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Synthesis of the issues related to the renewal of the MOU (prepared by SAFE):

The four determinations (found under Section 303(a) of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act) are summarized here:

1. Whether the cultural patrimony of a country is in jeopardy from looting of archaeological or ethnological materials.

2. Whether the country proposing the bilateral agreement has taken internal steps (has effective laws in place and engages in law enforcement and public education efforts to protect its cultural patrimony through a variety of means) consistent with the UNESCO Convention.

3. Are there any other nations with a significant import trade in archaeological materials participating in a concerted effort to prevent import of pillaged materials?

4. Whether the imposition of import restrictions will assist in the legitimate international exchange of cultural materials in ways that do not endanger the cultural patrimony of the country proposing the bilateral agreement.

Request

Anita Cook <Cook@cua.edu> sends this call for assistance in supporting renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between Peru and the United States concerning cultural properties. She encourages archaeologists (in particular) who conduct research in Peru to prepare individual written statements in support of renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Peru.

This renewal process is critical to protecting patrimony and curtailing the illegal export of antiquities and colonial artifacts. It is imperative that as many individual or group letters as possible be submitted as documentation supporting the MOU renewal. The Committee  invites written comments and asks that they be submitted no later than January 11, 2007, to allow time for distribution to Committee members prior to the meeting. All written materials, including the written texts of oral statements, may be faxed to (202) 453-8803. If more than three (3) pages, 20 duplicates of written materials must be sent by express mail to: Cultural Heritage Center, Department of State, Annex 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547; tel:(202) 453-8800.  I would be grateful if you could email copy of any letter to Anita, to SAA Government Affairs Manager David Lindsay (david_lindsay@saa.org), and to me. - Dan (Dan_Sandweiss@umit.maine.edu)

BRIEF HISTORY
The Cultural Property Implementation Act of 1983 (CPIA) put into effect the U.S.' commitments under the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the international agreement that is designed to deter the looting and theft of the cultural heritage of signatory nations by stopping the international trade in illegally-procured archaeological and ethnographic materials. Under the CPIA, nations that are experiencing looting of their cultural artifacts can request and enter into bilateral agreements with the U.S. These agreements, once evaluated and approved by the State Department, can include restrictions on imports of specific cultural items from those nations into the U.S., as a means of preventing illegally-removed cultural artifacts from ending up on the U.S. market. The agreements, which run for five years, are periodically reviewed for effectiveness and can be renewed, upon the request of the other nation, if it is determined that the threat to that nation's cultural heritage still exists.

The Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) is the entity within the State Department that evaluates requests for new bilateral agreements, and reviews the effectiveness of and considers requests for the renewal of existing agreements. For more information, the CPAC website is located at http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop. During its deliberations on individual requests, the CPAC holds public sessions so that interested persons can provide input on the subject.

THE CRITERIA AND WHEN AND WHERE TO SEND YOU LETTER OF SUPPORT:

Attached below is the Federal Register notice announcing the Cultural Property Advisory Council meeting to consider Peru's request for a renewal of its MOU with the U.S. We are going to need all the help we can get in order for the renewal to be approved.

Under the CPIA, in order for a renewal request to be approved, four conditions must be met-1) the cultural patrimony of the nation is in jeopardy because of looting; 2) the nation has taken measures consistent with the 1970 UNESCO Convention to protect its heritage; 3) the U.S. import restrictions will be taken in concert with actions by other market nations or the U.S. restrictions
alone will be of substantial benefit in deterring the situation of pillage; and 4) U.S. import restrictions will encourage other forms of cultural interchange. Further information can also be found at the CPAC website, listed below.


Federal Register

December 7, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 235, Page 71022-71023)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Notice of Meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee

There will be a meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee on Thursday, January 25, 2007,from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday, January 26, from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Department of State, Annex 44, Room 840, 301 4th St., SW., Washington, DC. During its meeting, the Committee will review a proposal to extend the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Peru Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Archaeological Material from the Pre-Hispanic Cultures and Certain Ethnological Material from the Colonial Period of Peru; and a proposal to extend the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Pre-Classical and Classical Archaeological Objects and Byzantine Period Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Material. The concerned governments have each notified the Government of the United States of America of their interest in extending the respective MOUs.

The Committee's responsibilities are carried out in accordance with provisions of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.). The text of the Act and subject Memoranda of Understanding, as well as related information may be found at http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop.

Portions of the meeting on January 25 and 26 will be closed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) and 19 U.S.C. 2605(h). However, on January 25, the Committee will hold an open session from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., to receive oral public comment on the proposals to extend. Persons wishing to attend this open session should notify the Cultural Heritage Center of the Department of State at (202) 453-8800 no later than Thursday, January 11, 2007, 3 p.m. (EST) to arrange for admission. Seating is limited.

Anyone wishing to make an oral presentation at the public session must request to be scheduled, must state which MOU--Peru or Cyprus--the presentation will address, and must submit a written text of the oral comments by January 11, 2007, to allow time for distribution to Committee members prior to the meeting. Oral comments will be limited to allow time for questions from members of the Committee and must specifically relate to the determinations under Section 33(a)(1) of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, 19 U.S.C. 2602, pursuant to which the Committee must make findings. This citation for the determinations can be found at the web site noted above.

The Committee also invites written comments and asks that they be submitted no later than January 11, 2007, to allow time for distribution to Committee members prior to the meeting. All written materials, including the written texts of oral statements, may be faxed to (202) 435-8803. If more than three (3) pages, 20 duplicates of written materials must be sent by express mail to: Cultural Heritage Center, Department of State, Annex 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547; tel: (202) 453-8800.

Dated: November 28, 2006.

Dina Habib Powell

Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.