U.S. extends restriction on imports of archeological items from China
The United States on Monday extended a memorandum of understanding signed five years ago with Beijing on restricting U.S. imports of archeological items originating in China.
The deal targets items from the Paleolithic period through the Tang Dynasty, ranging in date from approximately 75,000 B.C. to A.D. 907, and monumental sculptures and wall arts at least 250 years old, the State Department said in a statement.
The extension "represents a continuation of cooperation that began in 2009 when the U.S. imposed import restrictions to stanch the pillage of China's rich archaeological heritage and the illicit trafficking in pillaged cultural property," it said.
Washington, it added, only allows in restricted objects accompanied by an export permit issued by the Chinese authorities or documentation verifying its provenance outside China prior to Jan. 16, 2009, the effective date of the restriction.
In March 2011, the administration of President Barack Obama turned over to China a dozen of Chinese-originating relics seized over the previous year.
"The extension of the current agreement also will facilitate more exhibition loans to U.S. museums and sustained advanced international research on Chinese archaeological sites," the statement said.
The United States and China are both States Parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.