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US and Cyprus extend agreement to protect archaeological and ethnological heritage of Cyprus
2007-07-19 14:26:34

A ceremonial exchange of diplomatic notes took place at the State Department today to mark the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that protects the rich archaeological and ethnological heritage of Cyprus. The MOU was first introduced in 2002 and has now been extended for an additional five years.

The MOU enables import restrictions to be set on pre-Classical and Classical archaeological objects and Byzantine period ecclesiastical material, unless specific export authorizations have been issued by Cypriot authorities. The Designated List of classification of material restricted from import into the US is available in the Federal Register of the Department of Homeland Security.

With the extension of the MOU, the designated list of restricted categories has been amended to also include previously excluded ancient coins dated from the 6th century BC to 235 AD.

The MOU enforces the provisions of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and is also consistent with the recommendation of the US Cultural Property Advisory Committee, administered by the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs. The MOU, as well as the Designated List can be accessed at the Cyprus Archeological Materials page of the State Department’s International Cultural Property Protection website:
http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop/cyfactpc.html

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