President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, upon recommendation from the Cabinet, has decided to submit the text of the ‘UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property’ to the Parliament for their approval. The decision was made at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, following discussions on a paper submitted by the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage.
The ‘UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property’ is a treaty that empowers the protection of cultural and archaeological objects. As of today, 143 nations have signed the Convention.
The ongoing loss of Maldives' cultural and archaeological legacy impacts the studies of history and historical events. Hence, prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership of cultural property has become crucial. The Maldives' signing of the Convention will facilitate efforts to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring and obtain technical assistance from UNESCO in these areas. In compliance with current laws and regulations, this pact makes it more feasible for unlawfully acquired antiques and papers to return to the Maldives. It will also facilitate the implementation of Act No. 2019/12 (Heritage Act) and the rules issued in connection with this Act.