United States and Italy Sign Cultural Property Agreement

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Italian Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio signed today a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding that renews protections for Italian cultural property.

This renewal marks the 20th anniversary of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of the United States of America Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Categories of Archaeological Material of Italy, and is an example of the United States’ enduring relationship with Italy in combating cultural property trafficking and preserving heritage items.  The agreement continues U.S. import restrictions on certain archaeological material originating in Italy and representing the pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman periods of its cultural heritage, ranging from approximately the 9th century B.C. through approximately the 4th century A.D.

The United States has been unwavering in its commitment to protect and preserve cultural heritage around the world and to restrict trafficking in cultural property, which is often used to fund terrorist and criminal networks.  The cultural property agreement was negotiated by the State Department under the U.S. law implementing the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.  The United States has cultural property agreements with countries around the world, as well as emergency import restrictions on cultural property from Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.