Text: H.R.3497 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/17/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3497 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3497

    To provide for the recovery, restitution, and protection of the 
                       cultural heritage of Iraq.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 17, 2003

Mr. English (for himself and Mr. Leach) introduced the following bill; 
         which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To provide for the recovery, restitution, and protection of the 
                       cultural heritage of Iraq.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) cultural property is defined by the 1954 Hague 
        Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event 
        of Armed Conflict as ``movable or immovable property of great 
        importance to the cultural heritage of every people, such as 
        monuments of architecture, art or history . . .; archaeological 
        sites; groups of buildings which, as a whole, are of historical 
        or artistic interest; works of art; manuscripts, books and 
        other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological 
        interest; as well as scientific collections and important 
        collections of books or archives . . .'';
            (2) the region of present day Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia), 
        located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is known as 
        the ``Cradle of Civilization'', the birthplace of numerous 
        societies that moved civilization from prehistory to history, 
        and the native land of many Biblical and Koranic events;
            (3) the cities and rural areas of Iraq are home to some of 
        the oldest human settlements in the world as well as more than 
        10,000 identified archaeological sites of cultural and 
        historical importance and tens of thousands of other 
        unexcavated sites;
            (4) Iraq continues to serve as one of the prime centers of 
        Islamic art and culture;
            (5) in the 4th millennium B.C., long before the emergence 
        of Greek or Roman culture, the Sumerian culture flourished in 
        the region of present day Iraq, inventing the wheel, the first 
        plow, the first ever sophisticated irrigation system, the 
        earliest form of writing (cuneiform), and the first used 
        calendar;
            (6) southern Iraq is home to the site of the ancient 
        Sumerian city of Uruk, known to many as the first true 
        civilized city and home to the legendary King Gilgamesh who 
        built the city's famous great wall;
            (7) the city of Ur, which flourished in the 3rd millennium 
        B.C., and is partially excavated but yet to be completely 
        uncovered, is said to be the birthplace of Abraham;
            (8) Qurna at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates 
        Rivers is said to be the possible location of the Garden of 
        Eden;
            (9) the city of Ur holds one of the world's oldest and most 
        important ziggurats, a high rising temple of sunbaked and oven 
        baked brick with outside staircases leading to the shrine on 
        top and associated temples, partially excavated but yet to be 
        completely uncovered;
            (10) the city of Ur is the location of one of the greatest 
        archaeological finds of the 20th century, a cemetery in which 
        ancient Sumerian royalty were buried along with their servants 
        and extravagant treasures;
            (11) near the city of Ur is the archaeological site of Tel 
        Al-Ubaid, where ancient pottery and sculptures dating back to 
        4,500 B.C. were unearthed;
            (12) the Akkadian Empire ruled the region of present day 
        Iraq in the 3rd millennium B.C. and developed new systems of 
        weights and measures as well as some of the highest quality 
        works of art;
            (13) the Babylonian people briefly ruled the region of 
        present day Iraq in the 2nd millennium B.C. and developed the 
        capital city of Babylon which became the commercial and 
        cultural center of the Middle East for 2000 years;
            (14) the city of Babylon, flourishing from approximately 
        1700 to the 6th century B.C., was the center of operations for 
        historical leaders such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar;
            (15) Hammurabi of Babylon promulgated a famous law code 
        that provided precedents for both the Biblical Ten Commandments 
        and later legal codes;
            (16) Babylon was home to the captive Israelites in the 6th 
        century B.C. according to the Biblical book of Second Kings and 
        the location of great archaeological finds including the Ishtar 
        Gate, an enormous brick entryway into the ancient city, and 
        famous as the site of the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven 
        Wonders of the World, and the Biblically-referenced Tower of 
        Babel;
            (17) the site of Nippur, approximately 100 miles south of 
        Babylon, has yielded a vast collection of clay tablets with 
        cuneiform writing, including the oldest known record of a 
        murder trial, dating back to 1850 B.C.;
            (18) in 762 A.D., the city of Baghdad, founded under the 
        rule of al-Mansur, the second caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, 
        was the central commercial, cultural, philosophical, and 
        intellectual capital of the world during the 9th century and 
        for a time the center of an empire that stretched from Central 
        Asia to Spain;
            (19) the city of Baghdad contains the Kadhimain mosque, the 
        shrines of Abu Hanifa and Abd al-Qader al-Gailani, and many 
        other medieval buildings, including other tombs, mosques, 
        minarets, and the 13th century Mustansiriya University (an 
Islamic law school);
            (20) located sixty miles north of Baghdad is the Abbasid 
        city of Samarra, the home to the famous Great Mosque, as well 
        as the Abu Dalaf mosque with a spiral minaret, and other 
        important buildings dating from 800-1200 A.D.;
            (21) in the modern city of Samarra, the tombs of the Tenth 
        and Eleventh Caliphs, as well as the portal for the return of 
        the Twelfth Caliph, are of great significance for a major 
        segment of Shi'a Islam;
            (22) the tombs of the Fourth Caliph Ali and his son Husayn 
        are located in Najaf and Karbala (respectively), which are the 
        two most holy cities of the Shiite branch of Islam;
            (23) located in Iraq's third largest city, Mosul, are a 
        Great Mosque, dating from the late 9th or early 10th century 
        A.D., and nearby an ancient leaning brick minaret, that is all 
        that is left of an Ommayad mosque dating from 640 A.D.;
            (24) in the city of Mosul is located the site of the 
        ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, which is referenced by the 
        Biblical prophet Zephaniah, was the site of the prophet Jonah's 
        sermons, and includes royal Assyrian palaces and more than 
        20,000 cuneiform tablets from King Ashurbanipal's library;
            (25) south of the city of Mosul is located the ancient 
        Assyrian capital of Nimrud, the Biblical Calah, site of the 
        best-preserved Assyrian palace, in which were found rich royal 
        tombs of Assyrian queens in 1989;
            (26) near Mosul are also located the Assyrian capitals of 
        Ashur and Khorsabad, in which have been excavated priceless 
        treasures, including colossal human-headed winged bulls;
            (27) the city of Ashur and another capital, Kar Tukulti 
        Ninurta, across the Tigris have remains of three palaces and 
        hold great works of art from the royal Assyrian workshops of 
        the 13th century B.C., residences of merchants from the 18th 
        century B.C., and temples built before the 21st century B.C., 
        many of which have not yet been excavated;
            (28) the site of the ancient city of Hatra, located west of 
        Mosul, is known as the ``City of the Sun'' which holds many 
        archaeological remains, especially Parthian artifacts, and 
        served as a trade and military route along the Wadi Tharthar;
            (29) located at the site of the Parthian and later 
        Sassanian capital of Ctesiphon, 20 miles southeast of Baghdad, 
        are the remains of a gigantic vaulted hall, the Taq Kisra, 
        which has one of the largest single-span brick arches in the 
        world and is extremely fragile;
            (30) it should be recognized that the aforementioned Iraqi 
        cities and archaeological sites comprise a representative but 
        not comprehensive list of endangered cultural antiquities;
            (31) despite extensive efforts by U.S. and coalition forces 
        to limit damage to archaeological and cultural sites during 
        Operation Iraqi Freedom, looting has been widespread in the 
        aftermath of the military conflict. Thousands of items are 
        reported missing from the National Museum, the Archives, 
        Library and the modern art museum in Baghdad, and large-scale 
        looting has occurred at numerous recorded and unrecorded 
        archaeological sites, including Adab, Umm al-Aqarib, Isin, 
        Larsa, Nippur, Zabalam, Shuruppak, and Umm al-Hafriyat.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``archaeological material of Iraq''--
                    (A) means any object or fragment or part of an 
                object that was first found within the borders of Iraq 
                and that--
                            (i) was built, manufactured, sculpted, 
                        produced, or written by humans;
                            (ii) is at least 100 years old; and
                            (iii) was discovered as a result of 
                        scientific excavation, illegal or clandestine 
                        digging, accidental discovery, or exploration 
                        on land or under water;
                    (B) includes all human and animal skeletal remains, 
                as well as floral and botanical remains, that are found 
                in association with archaeological material described 
                in subparagraph (A); and
                    (C) does not include any coin or coin-like object 
                that is less than 250 years old;
            (2) the term ``coin or coin-like object'' means any piece 
        of gold, silver, or other metal or material, that is--
                    (A) fashioned into a prescribed shape, weight, or 
                degree of fineness, and
                    (B) stamped or embellished with a device, by the 
authority of a government or governmental or quasi-public authority in 
order that the piece may circulate as currency;
            (3) the term ``cultural material of Iraq'' means any 
        object, regardless of age, including manuscripts, and materials 
        used for traditional or religious ceremonial purposes, or a 
        fragment or part of an object, that was, on or after August 2, 
        1990, in the care of Iraq's cultural or religious institutions 
        and is of historic, artistic, religious, scientific, or 
        cultural interest.

SEC. 4. IMPORT RESTRICTION.

    (a) Import Prohibition.--No archaeological material of Iraq or 
cultural material of Iraq that was removed from Iraq after Executive 
Order 12722 of August 2, 1990, was issued may be imported into the 
United States, unless the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of 
the Department of Homeland Security determines that exportation of the 
material from Iraq was lawful pursuant to a valid certification or 
other documentation issued by the appropriate governing authority in 
Iraq certifying that the exportation of the material was not in 
violation of the laws of Iraq.
    (b) Customs Action in Absence of Documentation.--If the consignee 
of any archaeological material of Iraq or cultural material of Iraq is 
unable to present to the appropriate customs officer at the time of 
making entry of such material the certification or other documentation 
by the appropriate governing authority in Iraq required under 
subsection (a), the customs officer shall detain the material, and 
shall send it to a bonded warehouse or store to be held at the risk and 
expense of the consignee, notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
until such certification or other documentation is filed with such 
officer. If such certification or other documentation is not presented 
within 90 days after the date on which such material is detained, or 
such longer period as may be allowed by the Secretary of Homeland 
Security for good cause shown, the material shall be subject to seizure 
and forfeiture.
    (c) Lifting of Import Prohibitions.--The import prohibitions 
imposed under this Act on archaeological or cultural material of Iraq 
shall cease to be effective with respect to archaeological or cultural 
material that is removed from Iraq at the end of the 6-month period 
beginning on the date on which paragraph 7 of United Nations Security 
Council Resolution 1483, adopted on May 22, 2003, ceases to be 
effective or is suspended pursuant to a decision of the United Nations 
Security Council.

SEC. 5. FORFEITURE OF UNLAWFUL IMPORTS.

    (a) Seizure.--Archaeological material of Iraq or cultural material 
of Iraq that is imported into the United States in violation of this 
Act shall be seized and subject to forfeiture under the customs laws of 
the United States. All provisions of law relating to seizure, 
forfeiture, and condemnation for violation of the customs laws shall 
apply to seizures and forfeitures under this Act, insofar as those 
provisions of law are applicable to, and not inconsistent with, the 
provisions of this Act.
    (b) Disposition of Articles.--Any archaeological material of Iraq 
or cultural material of Iraq that is forfeited to the United States 
under this Act shall be returned to the country of Iraq.

SEC. 6. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.

    In applying the Tariff Act of 1930 or any other provision of the 
customs laws of the United States to an article that is an object, or 
fragment of an object, discovered as a result of scientific excavation, 
illegal or clandestine digging, accidental discovery, or exploration on 
land or under water, the country of origin of the object or fragment is 
the country within whose borders, as they exist at the time the object 
or fragment is imported, or attempted to be imported, into the United 
States, the object or fragment was first discovered or excavated.

SEC. 7. AMENDMENTS TO CONVENTION ON CULTURAL PROPERTY IMPLEMENTATION 
              ACT.

    (a) Definition of Archaeological or Ethnological Material.--Section 
302 of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 
U.S.C. 2601) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2)(i)--
                    (A) by amending subclause (II) to read as follows:
                            ``(II) subject to subclause (IV), is at 
                        least 100 years old''; and
                    (B) by inserting after subclause (III) the 
                following:
                            ``(IV) in the case of any coin or coin-like 
                        object, is at least 250 years old; and'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (11) as 
        paragraphs (4) through (12), respectively; and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
            ``(3) The term `coin or coin-like object' means any piece 
        of gold, silver, or other metal or material, that is--
                    ``(A) fashioned into a prescribed shape, weight, or 
                degree of fineness, and
                    ``(B) stamped or embellished with a device,
         by the authority of a government or governmental or quasi-
        public authority in order that the piece may circulate as 
        currency.''.
    (b) Emergency Implementation of Import Restrictions.--Section 304 
of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 
2603) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``State Party'' each place it appears and 
        inserting ``country''; and
            (2) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) by striking paragraphs (1) and (2); and
                    (B) by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the 
                following:
            ``(1) No import restrictions under section 307 may be 
        applied under this section to the archaeological or 
        ethnological materials of any country for more than 10 years 
        after the date on which the notice in the Federal Register 
        imposing such restrictions is published. Such 10-year period 
        may be extended by the President for additional periods if the 
        President determines that the emergency condition continues to 
        apply with respect to the archaeological or ethnological 
        material.''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (4)--
                            (i) by redesignating such paragraph as 
                        paragraph (2); and
                            (ii) by striking ``paragraph (3)'' and 
                        inserting ``paragraph (1)''.
    (c) Cultural Property Advisory Committee.--Section 306 of the 
Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2605) is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (b)(1)--
                    (A) by striking ``eleven'' and inserting 
                ``thirteen'';
                    (B) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``Two'' and 
                inserting ``Three''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(E) One member who shall be an expert in the 
                field of conservation of archaeological or ethnological 
                artifacts, sites, or related areas.'';
            (2) in subsection (d), by striking ``Six'' and inserting 
        ``Seven'';
            (3) in subsection (f)--
                    (A) by striking paragraph (3) and redesignating 
                paragraphs (4) through (6) as paragraphs (3) through 
                (5), respectively; and
                    (B) in paragraph (3), as so redesignated--
                            (i) by striking ``or the implementation of 
                        emergency action under section 304''; and
                            (ii) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``or 
                        action''.
    (d) Conforming Amendments.--The Convention on Cultural Property 
Implementation Act is amended--
            (1) in section 302 (19 U.S.C. 2601)--
                    (A) in paragraph (2)--
                            (i) by amending the matter preceding 
                        subparagraph (A) to read as follows:
            ``(2) The term `archaeological or ethnological material' of 
        a State Party or other country means--''; and
                            (ii) in the matter following subparagraph 
                        (C), by inserting ``or other country'' after 
                        ``State Party''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (8), as redesignated by subsection 
                (a)(2) of this section, by inserting ``or another 
                country'' after ``State Party'';
            (2) in section 305 (19 U.S.C. 2604) in the first sentence, 
        by striking ``by such action'' and inserting ``the country 
        covered by such action'';
            (3) in section 307 (19 U.S.C. 2606)--
                    (A) in subsection (a)--
                            (i) by striking ``the State Party'' the 
                        first place it appears and inserting ``the 
                        country concerned''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``the State Party'' each 
                        subsequent place it appears and inserting 
                        ``that country''; and
                    (B) in subsections (b) and (c), by striking ``the 
                State Party'' each place it appears and inserting ``the 
                country concerned'';
            (4) in section 310(b) (19 U.S.C. 2609(b)) by striking 
        ``State Party'' each place it appears and inserting ``country 
        concerned''; and
            (5) in section 312(2)(C) (19 U.S.C. 2611(2)(C)), by 
        striking ``State Party'' and inserting ``country''.
    (e) Extension of Agreements.--
            (1) Extension.--Section 303 of the Convention on Cultural 
        Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2602) is amended--
                    (A) in subsection (b), by striking ``five-year'' 
                and inserting ``10-year''; and
                    (B) in subsection (e), by striking ``five years'' 
                and inserting ``10 years''.
            (2) Existing agreements.--Any agreement that is entered 
        into under section 303(a) of the Convention on Cultural 
        Property Implementation Act before the date of enactment of 
        this Act and is in effect on such date of the enactment, shall 
        be effective for a period of ten years beginning on the date on 
        which the agreement entered into force with respect to the 
        United States.
                                 <all>