Monday, 12 March 2012

Bulgaria to be Discussed by CPAC

On 24th April, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will hold a meeting in line with the to continue its discussion about Bulgaria's earlier request for a bilateral agreement under the 1983 Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA). That session will be a confidential meeting. As the Federal Register announcement of the CPAC meeting states, this is authorized by 19 U.S.C. 2605(h), which permits private discussions when "the President or his designee [determines] that the disclosure of matters involved in the Committee’s proceedings would compromise the government’s negotiation objectives or bargaining positions on the negotiations of any agreement authorized by [the CCPIA]."

See: Rick St Hilaire, 'Mali, Guatemala, and Bulgaria Up for Discussion by CPAC - Public Session Slated for April 24', Cultural Heritage Lawyer, March 11, 2012.

UPDATE 14.03 12
It seems some dugup antiquity collectors do not understand anything much. Paid coiney lobbyist Peter Tompa moans about the Bulgarian meeting - following an earlier public meeting at which coineys were represented - being closed (and for some reason illogically blames it all on "archaeoblogger" St Hilaire). Dealer Dave rants away like a stuck record. He goes on and on about some alleged "obsessive secrecy and anticollecting bias" in the US administration - a conspiracy against collectors ("the CCPIA has gradually been twisted into a tool for restricting and suppressing private collecting of antiquities and the trade that supplies it").
The CCPIA actually regulates just the import of items which have no documentation of lawful export acceptable to current US law . If you tried to import a car or Dutch cheese without the proper documentation would you argue that customs scrutiny of your cargo means Obama is trying to stop people using cars or eating foreign cheese? In car users and cheese eaters, that would be treated as a symptom of certifiability - but in coiney circles such rhetoric is the accepted norm. Dealer Dave predicts:
One day the pro-collecting advocacy movement will finally have its day in court, and the true story of what has taken place behind the scenes at Cultural Heritage Center will be made public. In my opinion, the public and our legislators will be shocked by what will be disclosed.
Not half as much as I think they would be learning about what actually happens in the dugup antiquity trade. Dealer Dave reckons:
Freedom of information is essential to the preservation of our liberties and our democratic society. Every US citizen should understand that obsessive secrecy and refusal to make mandated freedom of information disclosures may indicate that something which cannot stand the light of day is being concealed.
One might say exactly the same about the dugup antiquity trade- including that which US dealers continue with Bulgarian dugup antiquities. Who are the middlemen in this trade?

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