Authority and Responsibilities
The Cultural Property Advisory Committee is established by Section 306 of the 1983 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (PDF) ("the Act"), which also describes its specific functions, purpose, and procedures. The Committee is also established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (PDF), with the exceptions stipulated in Section 306 (h) of the Act.
The Committee's role is to advise the president (or his designee) on appropriate U.S. action in response to requests from State Parties for assistance in protecting their cultural heritage, pursuant to Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention (PDF). The Department of State – specifically the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs – exercises the president's decision-making responsibilities under the Act. Meetings of the Committee may be convened to review a new request from a foreign government, to consider a proposal to extend an existing agreement, or to conduct reviews of existing agreements. The Committee provides its findings and recommendations to the Department, which are considered prior to a decision.
Technical and administrative support for the Committee is provided by the Cultural Heritage Center, to which all correspondence intended for the Committee should be sent.
The Committee is composed of 11 members appointed by the president to renewable three-year terms, with the following profiles:
- 2 members represent the interests of museums (indicated with an 'M' in the list, below);
- 3 members are expert in archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, or related fields ('A');
- 3 members are expert in the international sale of cultural property ('T'); and
- 3 members represent the interests of the general public ('P').
Members of the Committee are Special Employees of the Department of State, receive a security clearance, and may have access to confidential information. They are bound by the laws and ethical guidelines by which all Department employees abide.