Restrictions imposed on importation of archaeological material from Belize to the U.S. Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 March 2018 00:00

On Friday, February 23, 2018, the governments of the United States and of Belize signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Categories of Archaeological Material of Belize to solidify the collaboration between the United States and Belize to combat looting and trafficking of cultural objects in Belize.  The Government of the United States also repatriated Belizean cultural property recovered by Special agents from the U.S. National Park Service. The Government of Belize was represented by Greg Vernon, Acting President of NICH, while the Government of the United States was represented by Acting Chargé d’Affaires Deborah Lingwood.

The goals of this cultural property Agreement are to: reduce the incentive to pillage; help Belize protect its cultural heritage; and increase lawful access to cultural objects and awareness of world heritage by encouraging interchange of materials for scientific, cultural and educational purposes. Cultural property trafficking is a problem throughout Central America. Pillaging of archaeological materials deprives nations of cultural heritage and identity. Heritage sites that are hundreds and thousands of years old, a record of civilization over time, are being destroyed for financial gain.  The Agreement demonstrates the joint commitment of the two countries to ensure that Belize’s heritage will be protected and accessible for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Through Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation program, Santa Rita, Lamanai, and Benque Viejo del Carmen Reserve sites have been preserved and restored.