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Antiquities Minister urges amendment of UNESCO 1970 agreement

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said on Thursday he agreed with the UNESCO to establish an Egypt-chaired international advisory committee that studies means to combat antiquity looting.
The agreement came during the Cultural Heritage Under Threat conference hosted in Cairo.
Al-Damaty added that Egypt is keen on amending two articles no. 6 and 9 of the UNESCO 1970 agreement, which bans importing, exporting and transfering ownership of cultural properties illegally. He added that the agreement ignores countries’ rights to restore its monuments stolen before 1970.
He explained that article no. 6 states gives legitimacy to monuments so long as there is a legal selling certificate for the monument. He added that the certificate should be issued from the owning country to prevent selling of the monument through other countries.
He added that article no. 9 is not strongly applied and that it includes the exceptions countries could make to restore monuments from countries witnessing turmoil. The turmoil should include political, economic and social turbulence not only war.

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