Thursday, 7 June 2012

Cambodian 'blood antiquities' Should be Returned

As Mark V. Vlasic and Tess Davis ('Should Cambodian 'blood antiquities' be returned?', CNN
June 7, 2012) point out: 
the art world must reconsider what is ethically acceptable. And today, the sale, purchase and exhibition of "blood antiquities" is not only deplorable, it may actually be criminal. (The sale, possession, and transport of stolen property is illegal under the National Stolen Property Act.) Sotheby's and the Met have a choice: They can treat Cambodia's requests as obstacles, or recognize them as the opportunities they are to right past wrongs and set the moral standard for the entire field. For Cambodia's sake, as well as their own -- and for all of humanity that finds these treasures important -- let us hope that they choose wisely.
Meanwhile in an op-ed article in The Chicago Tribune Erik Nemeth writes that the "U.S. should consider strategic protection of cultural artifacts of other nations" (that's odd I thought they already did?):
America need not wait for the benefit of hindsight to determine its cultural stance. Proactive protection and repatriation of artworks and artifacts can demonstrate our respect for another nation's heritage when the chaos of conflict obscures the value of cultural identity. 
The US dealers' lobbyists say....
... nowt, suggesting that, deep down, they want to get their hands on this sort of stuff.

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