"[P]romoting U.S. leadership in achieving greater international cooperation towards preserving cultural treasures that not only are of importance to the nations whence they originate, but also to a greater international understanding of our common heritage."
Today's Federal Register reports that the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs on November 20, 2012 determined under the CPIA,
"That the cultural patrimony of Bulgaria is in jeopardy from the pillage of (a) archaeological material representing Bulgaria's cultural heritage (a) archaeological material representing Bulgaria's cultural heritage dating from the Neolithic period (7500 B.C.) through approximately 1750 A. D. and (b) ecclesiastical ethnological material representing Bulgaria's Middle Ages (681 A.D.) through approximately 1750 A.D. ((a)(1)(A)); (2) that the Bulgarian government has taken measures consistent with the Convention to protect its cultural patrimony ((a)(1)(B)); (3) that import restrictions imposed by the United States would be of substantial benefit in deterring a serious situation of pillage, and remedies less drastic are not available ((a)(1)(C)); and (4) that the application of import restrictions as set forth in this final rule is consistent with the general interests of the international community in the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes ((a)(1)(D)).
The Government of the United States of America recognizes that the Government of the People's Republic of China permits the international interchange of archaeological materials for cultural, educational and scientific purposes to enable widespread public appreciation of and legal access to China's rich cultural heritage. The Government of the People's Republic of China agrees to use its best efforts to further such interchange by ... facilitating the approval of loan exhibitions to the United States of America, allowing objects in an exhibition to remain outside China for up to two years, increasing the number of Grade 1 objects allowed in an exhibition; and considering longer-term loans of up to five years of a limited number of objects.
Cultural objects covered by the bilateral agreements may legally pass through America's borders when they are accompanied by either an export permit or proof showing that they left the countries of origin prior to the effective dates of the restrictions. Cultural materials protected by CPIA's import controls may be detained, seized, and forfeited by U.S. authorities as contraband. Smugglers may face potential prosecution under criminal statutes.
This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2010-2014 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT INFORMATION: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com