The US and Libya sign cultural property protection agreement

Libya PropertyThe agreement will impose restriction on import of Libya’s cultural property to the US. (Image source: gordontour/Flickr)The government of Libya and the US government will sign cultural property protection agreement, to impose import restrictions on Libya's cultural property to the US

Under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs I Steven Goldstein and Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs under secretary for political affairs Lutfi Almughrabi will sign the bilateral MoU on 23 February 2018.

As part of the ongoing cooperation between the US and Libya’s government of National Accord, the US will impose import restrictions on categories of archaeological material representing Libya’s cultural heritage dating from 12,000 BC through 1750 AD and Ottoman ethnological material from Libya dating from 1551 to 1911 AD.

Restrictions are intended to reduce the incentive for pillage and trafficking and are among the many ways the US is combating the financing of terrorism and disrupting the global market in illegal antiquities. These restrictions continue similar restrictions implemented by the US government on an emergency basis on 5 December 2017.

The cultural property agreement negotiated by the State Department under the US law implementing the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property underscores the US’ commitment to the relationship with Libya.

The US also has similar bilateral agreements with 17 countries around the world, as well as emergency import restrictions on cultural property from Iraq and Syria.

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