United States and Italy Extend Memorandum of Understanding To Protect the Cultural Heritage of Italy

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 15, 2016


The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Italy Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Categories of Archaeological Material Representing the Pre-Classical, Classical and Imperial Roman Periods of Italy, effective January 19, 2016, for a period of five years. Consistent with a recommendation made by the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the extension recognizes the continued threat to Italy’s archaeological heritage and builds on the United States’ ongoing commitment to cultural preservation and respect for the heritage of other countries.

The Government of the Italian Republic requested this MOU under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The first MOU with Italy entered into force January 19, 2001. With this extension, Italy’s Pre-Classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman Period cultural heritage continues to be protected.

Notwithstanding the violation of other applicable U.S. laws, the restriction allows importation of an object if accompanied by an export permit issued by the Government of the Italian Republic or if accompanied by verifiable documentation that the archaeological object left Italy prior to 2001, or, if a coin of Italian type, prior to 2011. The designated lists of restricted types of objects, published by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection, and information about the MOU can be found on the Cultural Heritage Center website.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov or 202-632-6452.