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India-US Cultural Property Agreement (CPA)

India-US Cultural Property Agreement (CPA) mind map
Recent Developments
Agreement with US
Signed in November 2023
Simplifies return of stolen antiquities
Implications
US offers items back without proof from India
Import restrictions in the US
Stop entry of looted, stolen cultural property
Encourage legal sharing for scientific, cultural, educational purposes
Interception of smuggled goods at the border
Automatic offering of items for return
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Role
Emphasis on repatriation
Raised issue during foreign visits
Cultural Property Advisory Committee
White House-appointed
Recommends to Department of State
Who
Collaboration between Union Ministry of Culture, Indian Embassy in Washington
Background
Importance of Cultural Property
Defined by UNESCO 1970 Convention
Importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art, science
Indian Laws for Cultural Heritage
Antiquities and Art Treasures Act (AATA) 1972
Defines antiquity
Coin, sculpture, painting, epigraph, other art over 100 years old
Manuscript, record, document over 75 years old
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958
Prompted by incidents of theft
No export without government permission
Selling antiquities requires ASI license
Current Repatriation Process
Provenance Establishment
Through FIRs, pictorial evidence
Verification by ASI
Custodian of antiquities
Team of experts assesses objects
Knowledge, iconography, wear-and-tear analysis
Significance of the Agreement
Prevents illegal trafficking
From India to the US
Eliminates funding sources for terrorism, organized crime
Simplifies repatriation process
Early return of antiquities
Template for future agreements
With other countries
Over 400 antiquities returned since 2014
Importance of cultural heritage to India and US

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