For 20 years, the United States and Peru have worked together to reduce illicit trafficking of Peruvian cultural objects and support sustainable protection of archaeological and Colonial-period cultural resources.
This week, the United States and Peru will extend their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue import restrictions on archaeological and certain Colonial-period material from all areas of the Inca country.
"We consider this instrument an important element for the relationship between our two countries and a distinct illustration of our shared ambitions," Peruvian Ambassador Carlos Pareja
"It reflects a strong awareness of the need for collaboration in order for this task to be successful, and it is one of many great examples of our bilateral accomplishments," the diplomat pointed out.
Originally signed in 1997, the MoU and associated import restrictions will be extended for an additional five-year term and include Colonial-period documents, as well as manuscripts for the first time. This extension will allow U.S. law enforcement to continue combatting the trafficking of Peruvian antiquities.
Over the years, the United States and Peru have worked closely to ensure that looted and stolen items are returned to the rightful owners. In fact, the U.S. has repatriated
over 2,000 items to Peru.
Yesterday, the U.S. government repatriated about 75 archaeological items and one Spanish colonial. Next week in Lima, Peru's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open an exhibition celebrating the repatriations that have taken place over the life of the MoU.
"The FBI has the honor of repatriating these artifacts of significant cultural importance to the Peruvian people," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Carpenter.
"This repatriation represents our commitment to protecting and preserving the integrity of cultural history, whether it be here in the U.S. or abroad, and to working with our partners across the globe to make sure stolen and looted artifacts recovered in the U.S. are returned to their rightful home."
"Combatting transnational crime is a top priority for the United States in Latin America. We at the Department of State support the important work of our colleagues in the U.S. law enforcement community by facilitating collaboration with our international partners like Peru," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mara Tekach concluded.