With one exception, no MOU restricting imports of cultural goods has ever been allowed to expire.
Yet, the assumption behind MOU's -- that the US should help State Parties to the UNESCO Convention control cultural goods found within their borders because nation states are the best protectors of their own cultural patrimony-- has been sorely tested, first by the economic meltdowns in Greece and Italy, and now even more clearly by the descent of Mali into chaos.
A recent military coup and the take over of important cultural sites like Timbuktu by well armed Islamic rebels again raises fundamental questions about whether the State Department and its allies in the archaeological community are really furthering the protection of cultural artifacts or whether their knee-jerk repatriationism does more harm than good.
For more on the situation in Mali, see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/world/africa/rebels-take-timbuktu-in-mali.html
To read the arguments for renewing the MOU wiht Mali, see
On April 24, 2012, CPAC will conduct a public hearing that will discuss the proposed renewal of the MOU with Mali.