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China, Colombia to join hands in cultural relics protection
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China and Colombia plan to conduct negotiations on signing an agreement to prevent the illegal trade of cultural relics, according to a top official with China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) on Monday.

The SACH director Shan Jixiang made the remarks on the sidelines of a signing of a letter of intent between the administration and Colombia's ministry of culture on enhancing cultural heritage cooperation.

Negotiations for the signing of the agreement over the prevention of the theft, illegal excavation and illicit trade of cultural property would be conducted soon after this signing ceremony, he said.

China had signed such an agreement with countries including Peru, Italy, India, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Chile, Greece, and Cyprus.

According to the agreement, relevant parties would exchange information on smuggled goods from the relevant countries that appear on the international market and share information related to evaluating, registering, retrieving and returning lost cultural properties when conducting investigations.

(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2008)

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