The University of Pennsylvania Museum was the first institution to take a public stand on what was, and continues to be a highly controversial subject. On April 1, 1970, the Museum issued what came to be known as the Pennsylvania Declaration, stating that no object would be purchased unless accompanied by a pedigree, including "information about the different owners, place of origin, legality of export, etc." Later that year, the United Nations issued the UNESCO Convention (see below) on the Means of Prohibiting the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Since then, supporting resolutions have been passed by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for American Archaeology, and the American Anthropological Association.
The Penn Cultural Heritage Center, dedicated to expanding both scholarly and public awareness, discussion, and debate about the complex issues surrounding the world’s rich—and endangered—cultural heritage, has been established at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.