New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are the first three states to have declared their “antiques” as “national treasures” since the United States began recognizing them in 1875.
As of Monday, the state of New York declared “antique” as a category in the United Nations’ Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property.
And in July, the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources announced that its Antique and Artistic Properties Law will require museums, art galleries, galleries, and other art venues to declare their “objects” as national treasures.
The declaration is in response to the U.S. government’s “Global Antique Curiosities List” that was first released in 2016 and now has a population of nearly 2,000.
The list is the product of a process begun in the 1980s when the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) made a list of countries with the highest percentage of artworks declared as “artistic” or “cultural” in its annual “Countrys, Arts, and Cultural Heritage” report.
“The Antiques and Artifacts Act of 2016 recognizes all objects or cultural property that has been designated as art, architecture, sculpture, sculpture or other works of art, including works of historical or scientific significance, which have been acquired, owned, or controlled in whole or in part by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, India, Canada, the Commonwealth of Independent States, or the Republic of Korea, as determined by the Government of the Republic,” the NEA said in a statement.
“Artistic and cultural property in a country, such as the United states, is considered to be a national heritage in a way that is unique to each country.
This definition includes works of cultural heritage that have been transferred to the United Nation’s Convention on Cultural Property and have been recognized by the governments of the United Countries or by the Governments of the countries in which they have been produced.”
In a statement Monday, NEA director Mark Blyth said, “The Antique & Artistic Curiosity List is a valuable resource to the community of nations and provides valuable information to support public policies and legislation.
It provides insight into the value and scope of international legal frameworks and standards for the protection of artistic, cultural, or scientific property.
We encourage nations to develop appropriate international frameworks and legal standards to support their efforts to protect and conserve cultural property, and to encourage international cooperation on the preservation of such property.”
While the United State has yet to formally recognize the Antiques & Artifacts List as a nation-wide designation, other countries have done so in recent years, including the Netherlands and Spain.
According to the National Antique Museum Association, more than $3.5 billion in property has been transferred from the U:S.
to other countries since 2005.
“The United States is an international leader in preserving and protecting cultural property,” said Chris Pramas, CEO of the National Association of Antique Museums.
“As a nation, we should embrace the value of this unique and valuable property and support the preservation and protection of cultural property worldwide.”
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