Canada Returns Heritage Objects to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
GATINEAU, November 26, 2018
Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, met with Her Excellency Mrs. Rima Alaadeen, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, for the first return of cultural property to Jordan by the Government of Canada. The event took place at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa. Mr. Fillmore took part on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.
The significant heritage objects returned are antiquities including pottery, glass vials, sculptures and oil lamps, some dating back to the third or fourth century CE and the Roman period. The objects had been detained in 2015 by the Canada Border Services Agency. Experts from the Royal Ontario Museum examined the antiquities and confirmed their authenticity. Jordan claimed these objects as their cultural property and requested their return.
This return demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to prevent the illicit traffic of cultural property and to ensure its return to its country of origin. It is an example of successful cooperation of government departments and agencies working together to enforce the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.
“Canada is pleased to return these significant heritage objects to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in keeping with our treaty obligations under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the illicit traffic in cultural property. We are grateful for the ongoing collaboration between the Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada’s border control personnel, and for the cooperation of experts in Canada’s museum community.”
—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“We are here to share in a significant moment, as Canada returns important cultural objects to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Our government believes in the importance of preserving our heritage, and giving citizens access to their art and culture. ”
—Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan expresses its appreciation for the outstanding efforts of the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Canadian Heritage, which resulted in the return of these priceless Jordanian antiquities. This reflects the excellent bilateral relations that we share with Canada and the multi-faceted co-operation we have enjoyed for many decades.”
—Her Excellency Rima Alladeen, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Canada
Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are signatories to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Under the Convention, participating states agree to assist each other in the recovery of illegally exported and stolen cultural property.
In Canada, the Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for Canada’s obligations under the 1970 Convention through its implementing legislation, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Under the Act, it is illegal to import into Canada any cultural property illegally exported from another State Party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention after the time when the Convention took effect in both Canada and that state.
Since 1997, Canada has returned illegally exported cultural property to 13 different states on 24 occasions, including this return.
The Canadian Conservation Institute, a special operating agency within the Department of Canadian Heritage, advances and promotes the conservation of Canada's heritage collections through its expertise in conservation science, treatment and preventive conservation.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has specific responsibilities to administer and enforce the Cultural Property Export and Import Act on behalf of Canadian Heritage. CBSA officers are skilled in detecting and intercepting suspicious goods entering the country.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and
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