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Cyprus and China agree to safeguard artefacts

Cyprus and China have signed a bilateral agreement to safeguard their archaeological objects and prevent their illicit trading.

Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos and China’s Culture deputy-minister Li Xiaojie signed on Tuesday on behalf of their respective countries a memorandum of cooperation to prevent trading of stolen goods and illicit excavations.

The agreement covers Cypriot and Chinese antiquities from prehistoric periods to the 20th century. Cypriot artefacts from until AD 1940 are covered by the agreement as are Chinese artefacts up until AD 1949.

The memorandum strengthens the legal framework by defining ways to exchange information in relation to goods traded in art markets and suggests stronger collaboration between the two countries.

Mitsopoulos said he and Li Xiaojie discussed ways to strengthen the two countries’ relationships further by exchanging experts, archaeologists and taking up joint programmes to restore artefacts.

Li Xiaojie said the memorandum was a “landmark” moment in the relationship of the two countries.

The Chinese deputy minister and his team also met Cypriot minister of education and culture Kyriacos Kenevezos. A programme outlining the two countries’ cultural collaboration for the following years is due to be agreed in December, Kenevezos said, when he will visit China.

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