Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

USA and Mexico (1970): Bilateral Treaties and Patrimonial Property Restitution

  • Miguel Angel Trinidad Melendez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2008


Increases in looting and illegal trafficking of ancient objects or monuments from countries with an important cultural heritage and a great compulsion for achieving pre-Columbian art from Latin American countries with the objective of increasing private and museums’ collections made specialists in cultural heritage, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and many countries to propose and establish rules for protect and preserve ancient cultural heritage.


In the last years of decade of 1960s, United Mexican States and the United States of America were working through diplomatic relations for considering establishing a compromise to protect each other’s cultural heritage from trafficking with the goal to decrease illegal activities as looting and/or archaeological sites’ destruction. In 1970, both countries signed a bilateral treaty for recovering and restitution of patrimonial properties.

Key Issues

Since 1930s protection and...

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  1. Olivé Negrete, J. C. & B. Cotton. (ed.) 2003. INAH, una historia, Volumen III: leyes, reglamentos, circulares y acuerdos. México: INAH.Google Scholar
  2. UNESCO. 1964. Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Export, Import and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Paris. Available at: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13083&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html (accessed 31 March 2012).
  3. - 1966. Declaration of Principles of International Cultural Co-operation. Paris. Available at: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13147&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html (accessed 31 March 2012).
  4. - 1970. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Paris. Available at: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13039%26URL_DO=DO_TOPIC%26URL_SECTION=201.html (accessed 31 March 2012).

Further Reading

  1. INAH. 1963. Leyes y reglamentos. México: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.Google Scholar
  2. Seligman, T. 1988. An unexpected bequest and an ethical dilemma, in K. Berrin (ed.) Feathered serpents and flowering trees, reconstructing the murals of Teotihuacan: 15-23. Hong Kong: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.Google Scholar
  3. Treaty of Cooperation between the United States of America and the United Mexican States providing for the recovery and return of stolen archaeological, historical and cultural properties n.d. Available at: http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/laws/pdfs/treaty01.pdf (accessed 31 March 2012).

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zona Arqueológica de TeotihuacanInstituto Nacional de Antropología e HistoriaTeotihuacan, Estado de MéxicoMexico