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Recovery of Illegally Exported Artworks


Office VI of the Directorate General for Country Promotion carries out activities of a diplomatic/cultural nature aimed at the recovery of cultural treasures illegally removed from the patrimony of Italy or other States, which consists of linking the various authorised departments of the Ministry of Culture (MiBAC) with both our diplomatic missions abroad and with foreign missions in Italy.
Its role is pro-active and it works in continuous collaboration also with special Carabinieri squad for the protection of cultural patrimony, as well as with the authorities of the Ministry of Culture.
It participates in bilateral negotiations sponsored by MiBAC and aimed at the prevention of illegal trafficking in artworks and the restitution of archaeological treasures stolen in Italy and smuggled out of the country.

Accords and Bilateral Cultural Protocols

It makes its expert contribution to the drafting of bilateral cultural agreements and protocols, with particular reference to outlining clauses concerning respect for international agreements or, at least, of the principles stated therein regarding counter-trafficking in artworks and the prevention of smuggling or export of cultural assets (UNESCO Conventions 1970 and 2001, and UNIDROIT 1995).
In this regard, important results have been achieved: a November 2003 accord with the Russian Federation, a Italy-US Memorandum in 2001, renewed in 2006 and 2011, an Italy-China accord in February 2006, and the signing of an understanding in October 2006 with Switzerland, as the primary international market for smuggled Italian cultural artifacts.  

last update: 10/05/2013

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