US, Bulgaria Sign Agreement to Protect Cultural Heritage of Bulgaria
The governments of the United States of America and Bulgaria have signed an agreement for collaboration to protect Bulgaria’s cultural heritage.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by US Ambassador Marcie Ries and Bulgaria's Minister of Culture Dr. Petar Stoyanovich.
The agreement will allow both countries to collaborate to reduce the looting and trafficking of antiquities and provide for their return to Bulgaria.
“The agreement builds on the United States’ long-term commitment to cultural preservation and respect for the traditions of other countries,“ the US State Department said in a statement.
The agreement, Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic Bulgaria Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Categories of Archaeological and Ecclesiastical Ethnological Material Representing the Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Bulgaria, also provides for the exchange of cultural property for cultural, educational, and scientific purposes.
After the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs made the necessary determinations, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of the Treasury jointly published in the Federal Register a Designated List of category types of restricted archaeological material.
The protected archeological items range in date from 7,500 B.C. to approximately 1,750 A.D. and ethnological material ranging in date from 681 A.D. to approximately 1,750 A.D. will be protected. Such material may enter the U.S. only with appropriate documentation.
Both countries are parties to the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
The agreement is consistent with the recommendation of the State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee.
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