Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Algerian Minister of Culture Meriem Merdaci will sign a landmark bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cultural property protection on Thursday, August 15, at 11:00 a.m. at the Department of State.
This agreement places U.S. import restrictions on categories of Algerian archaeological material dating from 2.4 million years ago to approximately 1750 A.D., including some of the earliest human remains found at Ain Boucherit and cultural objects from many of Algeria’s World Heritage sites, including Tipasa, Timgad, and Djémila. The joint commitment of the United States and Algeria to protect Algeria’s heritage and accessibility for future generations promotes economic development around sustainable tourism and reduces the incentive for pillage and trafficking.
The United States has been unwavering in its commitment to protect and preserve cultural heritage around the world and to combat the trafficking in cultural property that funds criminal and terrorist networks. The cultural property agreement negotiated by the State Department under the U.S. law implementing the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property demonstrates the United States’ commitment to our relationship with Algeria. The United States has similar bilateral agreements with 19 countries around the world, and has imposed emergency import restrictions on cultural property from Iraq and Syria as well.