Wednesday, 6 February 2013

My Cambodia MOU Extension Comment

I had promised myself I'd not get involved in any more CCPIA MOU stuff. I think it's a broken and hugely outdated system and misses the point entirely. If the USA was at all sincere in wanting to help sort out the illicit trade they'd have taken the CCPIA back to Congress two decades ago and got it rewritten to suit the purpose. I could not, however, leave it that a little over a dozen people had sent any kind of comment, and since ("select country" field) they apparently accept comments from outside the USA, I put together something. Maybe a reader or two will do the same, just to show that this is an issue at least three dozen people worldwide think is important. Copy and paste mine if you want, I sincerely doubt that they actually read them anyway. It's a bit too pompous I feel, but as I said, I do not think they read them:
I would like to see the CPAC urge the government of the USA to help protect the cultural heritage, and in particular the archaeological and ethnographic heritage, of all of the world’s countries from illegal import, export and transfer of ownership. This is consistent with the general interest of the international community and the fair use of cultural property for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes.

The cultural patrimony of the 1970 UNESCO State Party Cambodia is still in jeopardy from pillage. As we know from the press, several cases are going through US courts now concerning looted and stolen items from Southeast Asia. The eyes of the world are looking to the USA to take a firm stand against illicit antiquities trafficking in support of the measures that countries like Cambodia are themselves taking consistent with the Convention to protect their cultural patrimony. To refuse a request for help while remaining a state party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention would obviously be hypocrisy.

It is quite clear that the US market for archaeological and ethnographic collectables, sculptures and archaeological artefacts in particular is one of the largest in the world. If the US joins the rest of the States Parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention in consistent application (through its Implementation legislation) of the principles behind art. 3 of the Convention, the illicit trade will be curbed. Apart from protecting the domestic and foreign markets from the damaging effects of illicit dealings and smuggling, this would be of substantial benefit in deterring pillage (looting) to supply the illicit market.

In my opinion, active and careful scrutiny of the origins of freshly-imported material by market nations, coupled with careful multi-directional investigation of detected cases of attempted smuggling, is the only way to deal with the international illicit antiquities trade.

Document ID: DOS-2012-0063-0019
Your Comment Tracking Number: 1jx-83j0-puoq (Note this tracking number to find your comment at a later date).

I really do not think I'd have too much trouble without the number, there are still only 19 comments, and only a few hours to go to the deadline.

Go on, show you care....    Docket ID: DOS-2012-0063

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