The United States is one of over 115 states party to the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property ("the Convention") (PDF). The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act ("the Act") (PDF) empowers the Department of State to consider requests from governments party to the Convention to impose import restrictions on archaeological or ethnological material.

Process and Purpose

Learn more about the purpose of the International Cultural Property Protection initiative and the process for establishing import restrictions on artifacts.

October 6, 2017
U.S. and Guatemala extend and amend cultural property agreement.
Close up of a very large and old book being held opened, the pages are wrinkled and tainted yellow
September 27, 2017
United States and Mali Extend Cultural Property Agreement, Include Protection for Manuscripts
September 19, 2017
U.S. and Mali Extend and Amend Cultural Property Agreement


Bilateral Agreements

Learn more about the agreements countries have signed with the U.S. to protect cultural artifacts.

In their own words

Mamadou Cisse visiting Chaco park with small group of people
Mamadou C. Participant Civic and Government Leaders Sub-Saharan Africa International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Western Hemisphere Read the story
Have cultural property agreements to preserve their heritage