The Agreements between the Italian Ministry of Culture and American Museums on the Return of Removed Cultural Properties
In the last decade the MIBACT concluded a number of agreements with foreign museums that were holding illicitly excavated and exported cultural properties (for example the 2006 Agreement with the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York). The agreements allow the State of origin to achieve the return of the cultural properties and avoid the uncertain outcome of a litigation on their ownership before a foreign court. They also allow the foreign museums to preserve their reputation as truthful cultural institutions that do not encourage the pillage of the heritage of foreign countries. Both parties agree on the strengthening of their relationship through future cooperative activities, including loans granted by Italy of archaeological properties of equivalent value. The agreements go in the direction of settling through negotiations disputes on the return of cultural properties in order to reach an equitable solution taking into account all the relevant circumstances.