Monday, March 16, 2009

United States and Honduras Extend Agreement to Protect Archaeological Heritage of Honduras

A “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Honduras Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Archaeological Materials from the Pre-Columbian Cultures of Honduras" has just been signed according to the Department of State.
Effective March 12, 2009, this extension represents a continuation of cooperation that began in 2004 when the United States implemented import restrictions to stem the problem of pillage of Honduras’ rich pre-Columbian heritage and the illicit trafficking in such material. Recognizing that this heritage is in jeopardy from pillage, the agreement enables the imposition of import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological material ranging in date from approximately 1200 B.C. to approximately 1500 A.D., including objects made of ceramic, metal, stone, shell, and animal bone. The agreement also calls upon both governments to encourage academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and other private entities to cooperate in the exchange of knowledge and information about the cultural patrimony of Honduras, and to collaborate in its preservation and protection.

This U.S. action is in response to a request made by the Government of Honduras 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

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