The United States Supports Algeria’s Efforts to Preserve its Cultural Heritage and Fight Cultural Property Crimes

Experts from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a three-day workshop in Algiers, March 18-20, on the investigation and prosecution of the theft and illicit sale of antiquities, including the sale of cultural property to fund terrorist activities. The event was an exchange of expertise and knowledge between the U.S. presenters and investigators, prosecutors, and curators from the Algerian ministries of Culture and Justice.

The workshop, which aims to support Algerian efforts to protect its cultural heritage, covered subjects such as international legal frameworks, investigative techniques, case studies, prosecution of international cultural property crime, mutual legal assistance treaties, strategies for prevention of cultural property crime practical exercises, and opportunities for regional and international cooperation.

Since 2001, the U.S. Embassy in Algiers has supported the preservation of Algerian heritage through ten separate grants from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) worth a total of $436,727.  The AFCP grants have supported the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, the assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, and the preservation and protection of important archaeological sites.

The workshop represents the U.S. commitment to support Algeria’s efforts to preserve its cultural heritage.  The U.S. government looks forward to concluding in the near future a U.S.-Algeria bilateral agreement on cultural heritage protection consistent with the 1970 UNESCO Cultural Property Convention.