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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
04-02-2005 11:55 am The 13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation will be held at UNESCO (Room XI) from February 7 to 10. Key items on the agenda are the launching of a database on Member States’ cultural heritage laws, and the presentation of the export certificate for cultural objects. The certificate is a model elaborated by the World Customs Organization and UNESCO to reinforce the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property.
The Committee, comprised of representatives from 22 Member States elected for four years, will also receive an update on negotiations related to the Parthenon Marbles and the Sphinx of Boguskoy. Although the Committee, unlike a jurisdiction, is not empowered to decide between parties in litigation, it acts in an advisory capacity and may serve as mediator in bilateral negotiations over the return or restitution of cultural objects to their countries of origin.

The Intergovernmental Committee will also examine the principles relating to cultural objects displaced during the Second World War. Other items on the agenda include the state of cultural heritage and museum collections in Afghanistan and Iraq, the International Fund, and the promotion of the Object ID norm.

The Cultural Heritage Laws database, to be launched during the session, aims to make available on line the legislation of Member States that pertains to cultural heritage. Links with relevant sites in the different countries will also be listed (database address: www.unesco.org/culture/natlaws). As for the model of the export certificate for cultural objects, developed by the World Customs Organization and UNESCO, it is a practical and rigorous tool designed to facilitate the work of customs authorities all over the world.

Journalists who would like to cover the session are requested to obtain accreditation from the UNESCO Press Relations Section, tel. 33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 – i.le-fournis@unesco.org

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Source Media Advisory No 2005-06


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