ABSTRACT

Iraqi and Syrian Cultural Property: U.S. Government Committee Should Incorporate Additional Collaboration Practices, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 6MB]

"The conflicts in Iraq and Syria that began in 2003 and 2011, respectively, have led to the destruction, looting, and trafficking of cultural property by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and others. The United Nations called these events the worst cultural heritage crisis since World War II and reported that ISIS has used the sale of looted Iraqi and Syrian cultural property to support its terrorist activities. Congress authorized and the President imposed import restrictions on archaeological or ethnological material of Iraq in 2008 and Syria in 2016. The act directing Syrian restrictions also includes a sense of Congress that the President should establish an interagency committee to coordinate executive branch efforts on international cultural property protection. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review U.S. efforts to protect Iraqi and Syrian cultural property. This report examines (1) actions DHS and DOJ [Department of Justice] have taken to enforce U.S. laws and regulations involving restrictions on such property and (2) the extent to which CHCC [Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee] participants collaborate to protect cultural property. GAO reviewed documents related to 17 DHS- or DOJ-led cultural property investigations, interviewed officials, and assessed the extent of CHCC collaboration using GAO's key practices. GAO recommends that State work with other CHCC participants to (1) develop goals, (2) clarify participants' roles and responsibilities, and (3) document collaborative agreement in the CHCC and its working groups. State concurs with GAO's recommendations."

Report Number:
GAO-17-716
Publisher:
Date:
2017-09
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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