Sunday, 16 March 2014

Two Lawyers on Implementing Emergency Import Controls on Cultural Objects Smuggled from Egypt

Dealers protecting their "rights"
in Constitution Avenue
In the light of the report by  Tom Mashberg of The New York Times that the State Department and the Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities spoke last week about implementing American emergency import measures, Rick St Hilaire notes: "The lack of comprehensive action to stem the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage has afforded heritage traffickers the advantage of a three year head start to move their ill-gotten gains to the United States" ('With All Deliberate Speed: Implementing Emergency Import Controls on Cultural Objects from Egyp. Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St Hilaire Monday, March 17, 2014). He warns:
Now that the prospect of emergency restrictions on the importation of Egyptian artifacts appears real, traffickers are likely to increase shipments of heritage contraband to the U.S. before barriers are raised. And that is why emergency import measures must be implemented immediately.
Meanwhile a lobbyist for the international dugup antiquities trade has raised the spectre of an all-out battle by dealers to protect their interests:
 But what will the trade and the many collectors of ancient Egyptian artifacts do about it?  Hopefully not just sit back with the false hope that "it will all just blow over."
Cultural Property Observer blog, 'Emergency Import Restrictions on Egyptian Cultural Goods: A Way-Station to an Ivory-Style Ban?', Saturday, March 15, 2014.

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