February 1, 2001
In January 2001 the governments of Italy and the United States signed a bilateral agreement to restrict the import into the U.S. of a wide range of archaeological materials from Italy. As part of that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Italy has agreed to provide a series of exciting opportunities for many Americans. The agreement is especially significant since it is the first, and so far the only MoU made under the U.S. Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act to specify significant programs of legal exchange including comprehensive long-term loans of archaeological materials for research and exhibition and a framework for scholarly and scientific cooperation between the two countries. Among the projects being proposed for which qualified U.S. institutions and individuals may apply to the appropriate Italian institutions are traveling exhibitions, excavations, publication of previously unpublished materials, conservation, and scientific research. The Government of Italy’s plans for implementing these exchanges were made public at a seminar in Washington D.C. in June 2003 and are summarized in an article by Bonnie Magness-Gardiner that appeared in the July 2003 issue of the American Journal of Archaeology (vol. 107 no. 3, www.ajaonline.org). The text of the MoU, a detailed description of the types of loan exhibitions already available, and guidelines for organizing projects under the MoU may be found on the website of the U.S. Department of State: http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop/itfact.html.