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President Obama signs into law H.R. 1493 “The Protect and Preserve Cultural Property Act”

On May 9, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1493 titled “The Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act” authorizing emergency import restrictions of any archaeological or ethnological material from Syria that is unlawfully removed from Syria on or after March 15, 2011. Read More….

H.R. 1493 also calls for the President to establish an interagency coordinating committee to coordinate the efforts of the executive branch to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk from political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters.  The Committee should be chaired by the rank of Assistant Secretary at the Department of State and be comprised of representatives from government agencies as well as consultants from other public and private sector sources.  James McAndrew of our staff was instrumental in influencing both the House of Representatives and members of Congress with the final version of the Bill.  The Bill was originally introduced in November 2014 as H.R. 5703 which called for the appointment of a White House Coordinator for International Cultural Property Protection.  Disagreements within governmental agencies as to the form, structure and function of the Bill led to its demise.

In March of 2015 Representatives Smith and Mr. Engel re-wrote the proposed legislation and introduced it as H.R. 1493.  This iteration attempted to comingle protective language for artifacts from both Syria and Iraq due to the crisis borne by ISIS in the Middle East.  This time the Department of State attempted to wrestle control of the Bill by specifically requiring a Department of State employee at the Assistant Secretary rank or above to serve as the United States Coordinator that excluded input and cooperation from the private sector.  James McAndrew of my staff met with ranking members of the House Ways a Means Committee as well as Senior Staffers at Congress.  He was also interviewed for his consultative expertise in this area by investigators from the General Accounting Office (GAO). The resulting effort helped produce the current and final version of the Bill that included members of the private sector in an advisory capacity to include dealers, collectors, museums and other institutions.  On May 9, 2016 the Bill was signed into law by the President of the United States. Should you want to learn more about the Bill in its final version and the impact and benefits it might offer you as a result please contact James McAndrew, Forensic Specialist, at 212-973-7705 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1493, the “Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act”

On April 13, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1493, the “Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act” that included emergency import restrictions for such material coming from Syria. A copy of the Bill could be viewed by selecting the below link. Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP is the pre-eminent firm in the practice of Customs and International trade laws and agreements.  Our Art Law Practice has decades of success in providing guidance and legal expertise on the forefront of complex and emerging issues affecting the trade in antiquities and ancient items.    GDLSK advised numerous clients to include museums, universities, auction houses, dealers and collectors on how to safely navigate their businesses, protect their collections and enhance their collection management practices during earlier times of “culture in conflict”.  This included the Iraq Gulf Wars, the Arab Spring, the looting in Libya and other middle eastern nations.   Contact James McAndrew of our staff at 212-973-7706 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information on the above.

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr1493/BILLS-114hr1493eas.pdf

   

Fundamentals of Export Compliance Course Live in Los Angeles

The Foreign Trade Association is offering a course that will provide an in-depth review of regulatory requirements under the Census Regulations, Export Administration Regulations, OFAC regulations, ITAR and U.S. Customs export regulations.  It will also cover practical advice for implementing and improving corporate export compliance procedures and for managing incidents of non-compliance.  The course is taught by Erik Smithweiss of Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP, a partner resident in the firm’s Los Angeles office.  The two-day course takes place on April 25 & 26, 2016.

If you would like further information, including a list of topics that will be covered, and registration information, please open the link below or contact Erik Smithweiss.

http://www.foreigntradeassociation.com/event-2193683

   

Collection Management: Averting the Inevitable

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues on their path to investigate and recover stolen and looted works of art with more effectiveness and efficiency. As is states in the recent press release (see the link below), their ability is bolstered by the strong relationships forged with foreign law enforcement over the past fifteen years when I headed the agencies art and antiquity theft program.  It was and remains never an acceptable position to trade or collect objects with poor provenance.  At GDLSK we counsel collectors and dealers alike on better business practices.  We offer proprietary measures to reduce adverse claims against items in your collection without harm to your reputation and business. Contact Forensic Specialist James McAndrew at 212-973-7706 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to learn more.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-recovers-stolen-indian-artifacts-major-auction-house-ahead-asia-week-new-york

   

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