|Congressmen Eliot Engel and Chris Smith, sponsors of the|
Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act.
(1) protect and preserve international cultural property at risk of destruction due to political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters;
(2) protect international cultural property pursuant to its obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and customary international law in all conflicts to which the United States is a party;
(3) prevent, in accordance with existing laws, importation of cultural property pillaged, looted, or stolen during political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters; and
(4) ensure that existing laws and regulations, including import restrictions imposed through the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury, are fully implemented to prevent the trafficking in stolen or looted cultural property.
(1) coordinate and promote efforts to address international cultural property protection activities that involve multiple Federal agencies, including diplomatic activities, military activities, law enforcement activities, import restrictions, and the work of the Cultural Antiquities Task Force established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (Public Law 108-199);
(2) submit to the appropriate congressional committees an annual report on interagency efforts to protect international cultural property based on information required under section 5 of this Act;
(3) provide policy recommendations, if necessary;
(4) resolve interagency differences in a timely, efficient, and effective manner; and
(5) work and consult with domestic and international actors such as foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, research institutions, and the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield on efforts to promote and protect international cultural property.
The bill curiously omits any duties that might have been placed on the Secretaries of Treasury, Interior, or Homeland Security to supply reports directly to the Coordinator. These cabinet officials supervise agencies that have an impact on international cultural property policy—agencies like the the Office of Terrorism and Financial Assistance, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection divisions. At best, the proposed legislation would have the Attorney General simply offer a report "in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security."