Monday, April 19, 2010

Cultural property deal between Egypt and Switzerland

Earth Times

Egypt signed an agreement with Switzerland on Wednesday establishing tighter controls on the cross-border movement of cultural property and ancient artifacts.

The deal will require both countries to ensure that stolen items are not imported and that stricter measures are enacted by customs officers to control the movement of goods.

"Under the new rules, customs will check if [the item] has proper Egyptian papers, whether it was exported legally," said Benno Widmer, a legal expert at the Swiss Federal Office of Culture in Bern.

Requiring an export certificate from the country of origin will make it harder to move stolen precious items across international borders. The measure follows a previous agreement reached several years ago between Bern and Cairo.

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