by L. La Follette, Associate Professor of Art History at University of Massachusetts Amherst and member of AIA's Cultural Heritage Policy Committee
October 26, 2010
On October 12, 2010, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the State Department held a public hearing on Greece's recent request for a bilateral agreement intended to curb the import of undocumented antiquities from the Hellenic Republic into the United States.
The U.S. has entered into a number of such agreements (termed Memoranda of Understanding, or MoU for short) since implementing legislation in 1983 reflecting the U.S.’s 1972 ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The American supporting legislation envisioned the signing of such MoUs to help countries whose cultural heritage is endangered. In the case... Read More
Midnight Thursday marked the end of the period during which the public could post opinions on the regulations.gov website about the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United States and Greece on the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological and other materials from Greece. The Archaeological Institute of America strongly endorses the MoU. Hundreds of AIA members submitted letters to the State Department expressing their support for the MoU.
At the AIA we are proud that so many people contributed their opinions to this very important advocacy effort. Supporters lauded the effort to limit the trade in ancient cultural material between the US and Greece. The reasons the AIA is behind the effort are sincere... Read More
Greece, a country in which many AIA members have worked or studied, has asked the United States to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would require documentation for objects coming into the U.S. that may have been illegally exported from Greece. The US already has MoUs with countries such as China, Cyprus, and Italy as well as many nations in Central and South America. Adding an agreement with Greece will be a major step forward in enabling the U.S. Government to help reduce the looting of sites and the destruction of our shared archaeological heritage. The MoU faces substantial opposition from collectors and dealers, particularly those who buy and sell ancient coins. Indeed, the U.S. government site where people can... Read More