Blog: Saving Smuggled Artifacts

It’s been a good week for the preservation of artifacts!

Egypt and the USA have signed a new agreement, one of the first of its kind, to fight illegal artifacts trading. The USA, where possible, will seize artifacts entering the country illegally (ie, smuggled or stolen – not things being sent to museums or exhibitions). They will then return them to Egypt for preservation and restoration.

The USA will also promote law enforcement training to help officers recognize when they are dealing with a genuine relic. A U.S. representative,  Evan Ryan, said: “We want people to know that the United States will no longer be a market for these items.” She also expressed optimism that other nations in the region will also move forward in requesting bilateral agreements to protect their cultural heritage.

This is the first such agreement between the U.S. and a nation in the Middle East or North Africa. (The U.S. has two emergency import restrictions on antiquities from Iraq and Syria).

See more in this video. Read more here.

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Relics returned earlier this year include some beautiful coffins and boat models.