On October 2, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador announced that the Foreign Ministers of Ecuador Ricardo Patiño and of Brazil, Antonio Patriota signed the Cooperation Agreement on stolen or illegally exported cultural assets. According to the Press Release, “in this agreement, the Governments of Ecuador and Brazil recognize the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of both countries and they are aware of the serious damage that represents for both contracting parties the theft and illegal export of objects that compose this heritage. The loss of cultural assets and the damage that is put on upon archaeological spaces, such as churches and other deposit places.”

The purpose of the Agreement is to establish “common standards to allow the recovery” of culturally importatn objects that are either stolen or illicitly imported or exported. Apparently, “both contracting parties assume the entire responsibility to prohibit and prevent the income in their respective territories of these cultural, patrimonial and other specific property from the other contracting party that lack the respective authorization for export.”

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador.