United States Department of State
International Cultural Property Protection
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Protecting Cultural Property Worldwide     U.S. Response

The U.S. Response
ImplementationImage Database

U.S. and International Laws

Maya Vase from Guatemala

Research this area with these links

 Overview -- information on the process by which the Act is implemented, committee composition, staff, and frequently asked questions.

 Implementation -- information on protection offered to specific countries including text of any agreements and Federal Register notices of import restrictions.

Image Database -- illustrations of categories of objects subject to import restriction. 

  The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act enables the United States to implement the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The Act allows the United States to impose import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological or ethnological material, the pillage of which places a nation's cultural patrimony in jeopardy. The ultimate goal of this international framework of cooperation is to reduce the incentive for pillage which causes an irretrievable loss of information about our universal heritage. The U.S. was the first major art-importing country to ratify the 1970 UNESCO Convention. France has now ratified the Convention, making it the first major market nation in Europe to do so. 
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Revised: October 1, 1999

On October 1, 1999, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will become part of the
U.S. Department of State. Bureau webpages are being updated accordingly. Thank you for your patience.