Extension of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the United States And the Government of the Republic of Cyprus Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Pre-Classical and Classical Archaeological Objects and Byzantine Period Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Materials
On July 16, 2002, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus entered into a bilateral agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to impose import restrictions on categories of Pre-Classical and Classical archaeological objects from Cyprus.
This agreement was negotiated and concluded 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
In 2006, the MOU was amended to include Byzantine material with the archaeological material. In 2007, the MOU was extended and amended again.
The latest extension of the MOU announced on July 13, 2012, provides that import restrictions will remain in effect for another five years. The extension reflects the strong commitment of the United States to help safeguard Cypriot heritage by reducing the incentive for further pillage, and it offers further opportunities for collaboration in such varied fields as archaeology, history of art and architecture, heritage preservation, and law enforcement.