Video: Ceremony marking the extension agreement between US and Cyprus to protect Cypriot archaeological and ethnological artifacts
Watch the ceremonial exchange of diplomatic notes which took place at the State Department on Thursday, July 19, between Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and Ambassador of Cyprus to the US Andreas Kakouris, 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 imposes import restrictions on pre-classical and Classical archaeological objects and Byzantine period ecclesiastical and ritual ethnological material, unless specific export authorizations have been issued by Cypriot authorities. With the extension of the MOU, the designated list of restricted categories has been amended to also include ancient coins dated from the 6th century BC to 235 AD. Ambassador Kakouris remarked, “Coins constitute an inseparable part of our cultural heritage and the pillage they are subjected to is the same as other archaeological artifacts.”
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 . 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