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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

[VIDEO] Yes, Art and Antiquities Sellers Should Be Subject to Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing Laws

Last week the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance held a hearing titled, “The Exploitation of Cultural Property: Examining Illicit Activity in the Antiquities and Art Trade.” View the video below.

In light of the subcommittee's  important discussion, Congress should revisit the question: Shouldn't Art and Antiquities Sellers Be Subject to Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing Laws? The answer, of course, is yes.

Testifying at the June 23, 2017 hearing were
  • Dr. Brian Daniels, Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution and Director of Research and Programs at Penn Cultural Heritage Center.
  • Alyson Grunder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
  • Raymond Villanueva, Assistant Director for International Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.
Forward the video to 11:03, which marks the start of the hearing.


Text and original photos copyrighted 2010-2017 by Cultural Heritage Lawyer, a blog commenting on matters of cultural property law, art law, cultural heritage policy, antiquities trafficking, museum risk management, and archaeology. Blog url: culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission without the express written consent of CHL is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cultural Heritage MoU with Peru Extended

The United States government last week extended import restrictions safeguarding ancient archaeological and ethnological materials originating from Peru. The restrictions, which took effect June 9, last for five years and cover cultural heritage objects “in jeopardy from pillage.”

The archaeological site of Moray, an Inca ruin located in Peru.
Particular cultural artifacts dating from 12,000 B.C. through 1532 A.D. are covered under the new federal rules. The designated list encompasses Pre-Columbian textiles such as Chimu´ feather cloth panels, Nazca sashes, and Inca slings; Pre-Columbian metal objects like necklaces and penachos, metal feathers made of gold, silver, or copper used to decorate crowns; Pre-Columbian lithics such as stone bowls and cups; Pre-Columbian human remains like mummies; ethnological objects like Catholic liturgical items such as chalices and crucifixes; and Colonial manuscripts and documents like wills and books—a new category appearing on the designated list. The entire designated list can be found here.

Import controls protecting Peruvian heritage objects, enacted under authority of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA),  have remained in place for 27 years. The CPIA is the federal law that implements the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

The U.S. first promulgated emergency import restrictions on May 7, 1990 to conserve at-risk archaeological material from Peru’s Sipan Archaeological Region. Later, in 1997, the U.S. and Peru entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that set up import restrictions on objects from Pre-Hispanic cultures and on ethnological items from the Colonial period. The U.S. extended this bilateral agreement with Peru in 2002, 2007, and 2012.

Now that the MoU has been renewed for another five years, cultural property lawyers and importers must take note, keeping in mind the 1972 law that is still applicable to Peruvian artifacts, the Importation of Pre-Columbian Monumental or Architectural Sculpture or Murals Act.

Photo credit: getye1/freeimages.com

Text and original photos copyrighted 2010-2017 by Cultural Heritage Lawyer, a blog commenting on matters of cultural property law, art law, cultural heritage policy, antiquities trafficking, museum risk management, and archaeology. Blog url: culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission without the express written consent of CHL is strictly prohibited.