Seminar on Fighting Against the Illicit Traffic of Chinese Cultural Heritage
From October 23 to 26, 2001, the Seminar on Fighting Against the Illicit Traffic of Chinese Cultural Heritage was held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The Seminar participants recognized the importance of a common continued effort in the protection of the world’s cultural heritage. Culture heritage is vital to the development of civilizations and their understanding of their history. Each country has the moral obligation to respect its own cultural heritage and that of all nations and to protect it from robbery, looting and illicit traffic, according to its national legislation.
All participants to the Seminar agree:
China is an ancient civilization with a long history. Chinese cultural heritage, fantastic and abundant, is an important part of the world’s cultural heritage. During recent years, the Chinese Government has made great achievements in protecting the Chinese cultural heritage, and fighting against illicit traffic and smuggling of cultural heritage.
Within the framework of Chinese laws and regulations such as the Law of People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, and international conventions such as the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, the Chinese Government will continue to cooperate closely with UNESCO, with other countries and with international organizations such as INTERPOL in its struggle against illicit traffic of cultural heritage and its fight to recover that heritage which has been smuggled abroad.
Seminars or training sessions should to be held in all regions of China. A Mobile Chinese Expert Team with specialized training by UNESCO and others should be established to publicize and explain Chinese laws and practices with respect to the protection of cultural heritage. This would assist the Chinese Government in its fight against illicit traffic of cultural property, as it would help the whole society to understand the importance of its cultural heritage.
The Seminar participants thank UNESCO for its contribution towards this important Seminar; they invite UNESCO to continue to support and publicize the Chinese Government’s achievements in the protection of its cultural heritage and its fight against illicit traffic of cultural property.