The Cultural Antiquities Task Force (CATF) recently supported a workshop in Cairo jointly organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on protecting cultural property and investigating cases of illegally exported antiquities. Presenters from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center joined participants representing agencies such as Egyptian Customs and the Tourism Police.
The weeklong workshop provided participants with foundational training on cultural property preservation and protection issues, investigation and prosecution of cultural property crimes, the repatriation process, and tools to combat trafficking and looting. The workshop also bolstered greater understanding of the U.S. legal system concerning cultural property and helped to improve cooperation between U.S. and Egyptian law enforcement.
The training directly supports the cultural property agreement between the United States and Egypt that, since 2016, has restricted the import of certain Egyptian archaeological objects from entering the United States.
About the Cultural Antiquities Task Force
Established by the U.S. Congress in 2004, the CATF is led by the State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center. It comprises federal agencies that share a common mission to combat trafficking in antiquities in the United States and abroad. Since its creation, the CATF has supported more than 75 international and domestic cultural property training programs, among other initiatives.