Secretary Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sign a landmark bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cultural property protection at the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
This is the first cultural property protection agreement between the United States and a country in the Middle East and North Africa region. Under the agreement, the United States will impose import restrictions on archaeological material representing Egypt's cultural heritage dating from 5200 B.C. through 1517 A.D. Restrictions are intended to reduce the incentive for pillage and trafficking and are one of the many ways the United States is fighting the global market in illegal antiquities. The cultural property agreement, negotiated by the State Department under 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, underscores the United States' commitment to our relationship with Egypt, as well as our global commitment to cultural heritage protection and preservation. The U.S. now has bilateral agreements with 16 countries around the world, as well as emergency import restrictions on cultural property from two other countries, Iraq and Syria. A full transcript is available at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/11/264667.htm