Date:  May 14, 2003

Immediate Action Requested

Congressional legislation has been introduced to help halt the looting of Iraq?s cultural heritage, and AAA urges you to contact your Congressional representative and ask them to co-sponsor or support the bill.  The Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act (H.R. 2009), introduced by Congressional representatives Phil English (R-PA-21) and James Leach (R-IA-1) on May 7, would ban the import of archaeological and cultural materials from Iraq into the U.S. unless appropriate documentation from the government of Iraq certifies that the material exported was not in violation of the laws of Iraq.  The ban would affect all archaeological and cultural materials, including objects or fragments of objects, manuscripts, human, animal, skeletal, plant and floral remains, among other things, found within the borders of Iraq or in the care of Iraq?s cultural or religious institutions on or after August 2, 1990.

In addition, the legislation would aid the return of looted material to Iraq by authorizing their seizure and forfeiture through U.S. customs laws and specifying their return to Iraq.  The bill amends existing legislation to enable U.S. authorities to impose restrictions in similar situations in the future.  The bill would prevent or dissuade further looting by eliminating the U.S. as a major market for looted material.

It?s important to pass legislation now because the Administration is proceeding to remove existing sanctions on trade with Iraq.

Find your Representative by typing in your zip code:

Read AAA?s letter of support

Read the full text of H.R. 2009:

Check to see whether your Representative is supporting the Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act:
Additional co-sponsors may speed the bill's passage.

Read Executive Order 12722:

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