Monday, January 20, 2020

The Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) meets this week to discuss requests by Turkey and Tunisia for Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the United States to establish American import controls covering certain archaeological and ethnological materials in jeopardy of pillage.

The public portion of the meeting will be held Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm ET. You can observe it live by watching online at

The requests submitted by the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of Tunisia invoke Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The U.S. is a party to this agreement, which is implemented under federal law by the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.

The country requests have attracted nearly 100 written public comments, which describe the extent of archaeological site looting in the two countries, articulate collector and dealer concerns that ancient coins will be counted as archaeological material subject to U.S. import controls, and ask the question of who owns cultural property.

CPAC, meanwhile, welcomes recently appointed chairman Attorney Stefan Passantino and new members Attorney Anthony Wisniewski and CHL author Attorney Rick St. Hilaire to the committee.

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