BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese and Italian cultural officials signed an agreement here Friday in order to strengthen cooperation in control of the theft and smuggling of cultural relics.
At the signing ceremony, Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), said: "Smuggling of cultural relics has become a world difficult problem like munitions and drug smuggling."
Both China and Italy have plenty of cultural heritage resources. The agreement will help prevent illegal trade of the two countries' cultural relics and better protect the precious cultural heritage of the world, Shan said.
According to the agreement, special organizations will be established by the cultural heritage departments of the two countries to take charge of the work of preventing the theft and smuggling of cultural relics.
The special organizations of the two countries will exchange information on the antiques forbidden to be exported, underground relics, new archaeological discoveries and so on.
The two countries will also strengthen exchanges and training of specialists in the field of safety management of cultural heritage, antiques market management, exit-entry administration of cultural relics, according to the agreement.
The two sides will push forward the application of the Galileo satellite navigation system, a major European project, and other advanced technologies in the prevention of theft and smuggling of cultural relics, says the agreement.
Information on the two countries' stolen cultural relics, which emerge on the international cultural relics markets, will be shared by the two sides to help return of the cultural relics.
China has increased investment in the crackdown of cultural relics smuggling in recent years, and has actively taken part international cooperation in this field, Shan added.