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Cyprus Foreign Мinistry satisfied with extension of US import restriction
2003-09-08 17:27:13

Nicosia, Sep 8 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Ministry has expressed satisfaction with the decision of the American government to extend for three years an import restriction on Byzantine ecclesiastical and ritual ethnological material from Cyprus, unless such material is accompanied by an export permit issued by the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

In a press release the Ministry said the categories of Byzantine ritual and ecclesiastical ethnological material subject to the import restriction include objects of metal, wood, ivory and bone, textiles, stone (mosaics) and frescos. They range in date from approximately the 4th century AD through approximately the 15th century AD.

The Ministry said the restriction first went into effect in April 1999 in response to a request from the government of the Republic of Cyprus seeking protection of its cultural heritage under 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 three-year extension of the restriction is the maximum allowable by US law, the press release concluded.

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