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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Check List for Applicants


Statute Providing for Immunity from Judicial Seizure of Certain
Cultural Objects (22 U.S.C. 2459)

In support of your application, please submit the following to Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, L/PD, SA-5, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03), Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20522-0505, a minimum of six (6) weeks prior to importation: (If application is sent by courier, please add 2200 C Street, N.W. to the address, and change zip code to 20037.)

1. A schedule of all the imported items to be covered (including description);

2. A copy of the "agreement entered into between the foreign owner or custodian thereof and the United States or one or more cultural or educational institutions within the United States providing for the temporary exhibition;" a copy of any agreements with participating museums or other U.S. cultural or educational institutions, and a copy of any agreements between a foreign owner and a foreign custodian;

3. Copies of all related commercial agreements between any or all of the U.S. institutions and the foreign owner/custodian or other parties (excluding support agreements/contracts for such things as insurance, transport, or storage);

4. A list of expected places and dates of exhibition, especially the date the objects are expected to arrive in the United States (be certain to notify the Department of State of any changes in importation date). If the foreign owner/custodian requires that immunity determinations be published before it will export the items, provide the date by which publication needs to occur;

5. A specific statement of whether or not "the exhibition is to be administered, operated or sponsored without profit to the borrowing or participating institutions" (even though catalogue and print sales and admission and similar fees--all of which merely cover costs--are permissible, a description of all charges or preferences in admission should be provided);

6. A statement concerning the provenance of works to be borrowed, as follows: "The applicant certifies that it has undertaken professional inquiry - including independent, multi-source research - into the provenance of the objects proposed for determination of cultural significance and national interest. The applicant certifies further that it does not know or have reason to know of any circumstances with respect to any of the objects that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership [, except as described below. For the objects for which circumstances exist that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership, the following is a description of such circumstances and the likelihood any such claim would succeed.]" If you are aware of current or past litigation over ownership, please mention and describe.

7. A scholarly statement establishing the cultural significance of the imported objects; and

8. Facts supporting an assertion that all U.S. participants are cultural or educational institutions, such as a citation to an organization's current IRC 501(c)(3) determination letter.

9.The name and phone number of the person to be contacted if the Department of State has any questions about the application.

Please Note: We do not accept CD applications.

This web site also includes, for your convenience, a few sample introductory paragraphs you may wish to use in your submission letter to the Assistant Legal Adviser, and sample contract language.

To check on the status of your application following submission, please call Elliot Chiu at (202) 632-6471.

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