Tuesday, 13 September 2011

"There they go again"

Predictable wasn't it?
There they go again. [...] archaeological trade groups are again taking advantage of another supposed emergency to call for yet another round of emergency import restrictions, which of course, are just the first step towards a permanent ban.
(Tompa of course).

And oh-ho-ho, looky-here what these nasty archaeological people say: "These actions are in keeping with U.S. international obligations under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Goods". Indeed they are. It is a shame the US with its cop-out CCPIA needs reminding of that.

Well, I am not sure that Amnesty International who released a report today would agree with the Washington lawyer's suggestion that there has been only a "supposed" emergency (ie civil war) in Libya, but who are these archaeological "trade groups"?

Archaeology Division-American Anthropological Association
American Cultural Resources Association
Society for American Archaeology
Archaeological Institute of America-AIA
Australian Archaeological Association
Canadian Archaeological Association
European Association of Archaeologists-EAA
International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management-ICAHM
International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences- UISPP
Pan African Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies
Society of Africanist
Archaeologists (SAfA)
Society for Archaeological Sciences
Society for Historical Archaeology-SHA
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
World Archaeological Congress-WAC
What do you call this kind of use of language? Merely sloppy?

So, obviously the remedy is for all the antiquity market's trade groups to get together and produce a parallel document calling on the nations NOT to help protect Libya's archaeological sites, museums and cultural heritage (giving the reasons why). Who'll be first on the list, Tompa's own Cultural Property Research Institute maybe as a "trade group" on a par with those named as signatories of the AIA document? The ACCG? The IAPN, PNG? Who else?


Cultural Property Observer said...

For restrictions, there needs to be some evidence of an emergency relating to cultural property-- I'm not sure general unpleasantness does it.

As for archaeological trade associations, archaeologists certainly advocate for the business purpose of monopolizing control over antiquities, and let's face the fact that archaeology is a big business now-- what with TV deals, government contracts and the like. You are not suggesting archaologists are disinterested do-gooders are you?

Paul Barford said...

"For restrictions..." that's why I pointed out the bit about the INTERNATIONAL obligations attendant on being a state party of the 1970 UNESCO Convention. If America does not like its implications, let it withdraw altogether, not pretend. OK? If you don't support it, get out, if you do, apply it, all of it.

"archaeological trade associations, archaeologists certainly advocate for the business ..." well, i am sorry, perhaps we define "trade group" differently, the 'Air Conditioning Contractors of America' is a trade group. The EAA is not, I feel and I am sure its other members feel the same way.

So what does "monopolise control over antiquities" mean in the real world when the document we discuss talks of protecting sites? Or is that the issue, prevent looted antiquities getting into the hands of the illicit trade? Is that "monopolisation"? What exactly are you opposing here?

You ignore the last point I made, if you oppose what was proposed in this document, instead of just moaning about being victimised again, why not get antiquities trade groups (real ones like the IAPN and PNG) producing a document about NOT protecting Libyan sites? Would CPRI and ACCG sign it?

Anonymous said...

EAA etc. all "trade group." I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry. What planet is our dear Tomparoli living in? Who is supporting this guy in Washington? Luckily he does not have as many readers as you do on his blog. Calling himself a "cultural property observer"? Embarassing, embarassing... Just understand when it is over...

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