Details of the agreement against the smuggling of cultural goods after the Moroccan ratification

Seeking to preserve the material cultural memory of Morocco, from theft and illegal smuggling, is included in the Kingdom’s ratification of the Convention of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law on stolen or illegally smuggled cultural objects.

The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication pointed out that in an effort to “keep up with international efforts to combat the illegal trafficking of cultural property, and within the framework of its strategy aimed at protecting its cultural heritage and recovering movable property from smuggling abroad, has ratified (…) the 1995 Convention of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) on stolen or legally exported cultural property, which is considered a complementary agreement to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the measures that must be adopted to prohibit and prevent the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

According to the same source, this agreement establishes “the minimum general legal standards necessary for the restitution of cultural property according to a special, unified and simplified approach, based on encouraging Member States to improve cultural cooperation between them by facilitating the restitution procedure. and return cultural property with fair solutions in return.” “.

The ministry, which is the custodian of the cultural sector, added that one of the most important provisions of this agreement is “the recognition of the right of countries claiming recovery to submit applications directly to the national courts in the state-parties on whose soil he finds the stolen property. It also broadened the issue of protection to include all stolen or illegally exported artifacts and is therefore an important step towards the obligation of the right to recover smuggled material heritage.

The text of the Convention warns that illicit trafficking in cultural property causes “irreparable damage”, inflicting “these property itself and the cultural heritage of national, tribal, indigenous and other communities, as well as the heritage of all peoples, in particular through the looting of archaeological sites and the loss of information.” The irreplaceable archaeological, historical and scientific result of it.”

This agreement aims to “facilitate the return and return of cultural property” and “provide the necessary remedies to activate the return or return in some countries, as compensation.”

This agreement applies to claims of an international nature for the return of stolen cultural property and the return of cultural property transferred from the territory of a Contracting State in contravention of its law regulating the export of cultural property in order to protect its cultural heritage. .

The terms of the ratified agreement refer to cultural objects “that, for religious or secular reasons, are of interest to archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science.”

The holder of an illegally exported cultural object has the right to “receive from the requesting State fair and reasonable compensation at the time of its return, provided that the holder did not know or is not reasonably supposed to have known, at the time of possession of the cultural object ”. the piece, which was issued illegally.”

This agreement seeks to “contribute effectively to combating the illicit trade in cultural property, taking the important step of establishing general minimum legal rules to ensure the return and return of cultural property between the contracting states, with the aim of improving the process of cultural preservation. ”. heritage and protecting the interests of all”.