The court pleading cites a violation of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA). The CPIA is the federal law that implements the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Under the terms of the CPIA's Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the U.S. and Peru, designated cultural heritage materials from Peru are restricted from America's shores unless authorized.
Ferrer's office subsequently filed a forfeiture action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, asserting:
the United States has a reasonable basis to believe: that the Defendant Artifacts were produced by indigenous tribal people in Peru during the Pre-Columbian period, or in the Colonial period; that they are important to the cultural heritage of the Peruvian people; that they are designated Pre-Columbian and Colonial textiles, metals, lithics, and perishable remains as listed in 19 C.F.R. 12.104(g) and are thus subject to export control by Peru.The Defendant Artifacts were imported into the United States without any certification from Peru that the exportation of the artifacts from Peru was lawful under Peruvian law, as required by the CPIA, 19 U.S.C. § 2606(a).
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