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STATEMENT: Antiquities Coalition Says Senate Action Taken is Key to Stem Blood Antiquities

January 29, 2016

Senate_in_sessionToday the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations moved forward on the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act, legislation that would help curb funding for ISIS by cracking down on the trafficking of artifacts looted from cultural sites in Syria.

The United States is one of the largest destinations worldwide for black-market artifacts stolen from the cradle of civilization in the Middle East and North Africa. This legislation imposes import restrictions on looted Syrian artifacts, preventing them from entering the United States to be sold for ISIS’ profit.

Swift passage in the Senate will help stem the flow of blood antiquities, dry up ISIS funding, save lives in the region, and help preserve irreplaceable pieces of cultural heritage. It also helps send a message to demonstrate the United States government’s commitment and leadership in the fight against terrorism.

We applaud Representatives Royce and Engel for introducing this bipartisan legislation into the House and Senators Perdue and Casey for leading today’s efforts in the Senate. The Antiquities Coalition looks forward to seeing this legislation pass into law.