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DoA to create anti-smuggling division to protect antiquities

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Mar 22,2018 - Last updated at Mar 22,2018

A carving of an elephant at Petra Museum (Photo by Ahmad Bani Mustafa)

AMMAN — Jordan’s Department of Antiquities (DoA) is working on creating a new division to combat the smuggling of antiquities, an official said.

The new unit will start operating once the administrative by-law of the DoA comes into effect, DoA Director General Monther Jamhawi told the Jordan Times on Thursday.

The Legislative and Opinion Bureau recently issued the DoA draft by-law 2018, which will take effect after being published in the Official Gazette, Jamhawi said.

Article 5 of the by-law, which concerns the anti-smuggling division, stipulates that the department will work in cooperation with the security bodies and the Jordan Customs Department to control smuggling and trading of antiquities, according to the official.

The director said that the new unit will be responsible for organising archaeological excavations, documenting and registering antiquities across the Kingdom, operating ticket offices at sites and museums, and implementing the state policies related to agreements and protocols.

Also among the division’s tasks will be issuing licences for local and international scientific institutions and archaeological missions, which run excavations, surveys and archaeological studies in Jordan, according to Jamhawi, who added that the department will supervise the establishment of archaeological institutes and museums.

The by-law also stipulates authorising the new department to licence handicraft workshops for artefacts such as mosaics and pottery, the official said.

As for possession of antiquities, the department will regulate the process under the jurisdictions of the relevant legislations and decisions, Jamhawi continued, noting that the department will follow up on Jordanian antiquities outside the Kingdom in cooperation with the concerned agencies.

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