Monday, 14 January 2013

Cambodia MOU Meeting

There will be a series of meetings of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to review the proposal to extend the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Archaeological Material from Cambodia from the Bronze Age Through the Khmer Era (MOU) [Docket No. DOS-2012-0063], including an open session to receive oral public comment on this proposal (Wednesday, February 27, 2013).

 The Department of State announces:
If you do not wish to make oral comment, but still wish to make your views known, you may send written comments for the Committee to consider. Again, your comments must relate specifically to the determinations under 19 U.S.C. 2602) of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. Submit all written materials electronically through the eRulemaking Portal (see below), ensuring that they are received no later than February 6, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. (ET). [...] As a general reminder, comments submitted by fax or email are not accepted. [...] To submit comments electronically, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal (, enter the Docket No. DOS-2012-0063 for Cambodia, and follow the prompts to submit a comment.
What is interesting is that, due to the notable failure perhaps of previous contributors to the public debate to refer to the specific articles cited in earlier invitations to comment (which may have led to huge piles of them simply being rejected before they reached the CPAC), the new requirements are:
All oral and written comments must relate specifically to the determinations under 19 U.S.C. 2602 of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, pursuant to which the Committee must make findings

It will be interesting to see how many US coineys will be writing and expressing their opinion on the same basis as they oppose import control measures in the case of countries like Greece and Italy - or whether their "passionate interest in the past" extends as far as taking an interest in the preservation of the archaeological record of other countries from what their own legislation defines as "pillage" and smuggling of recently "surfaced" finds straight into the USA. Or will they maintain an embarrassed silence? So far there are apparently no public submissions at all. How can this be?

Vignette: The feet may be in Cambodia still, but in what country are the knocked-off fragments of the rest of this monument? (Chasing Aphrodite)

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