Saturday, 27 December 2014

'Educating the French' not the way

Source US DoS
Heritage at State ‏is blithely telling us the US has been 'Educating French audiences about The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)' June 16-20, 2014
At the invitation of the Embassy of the United States of America, Federal Judge Diane J. Humetewa gave a series of conferences in Paris on the laws related to the protection and restitution of cultural artifacts from Native American tombs (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Public Law 101-601; 25 U.S.C. 3001-3013). [...] The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (Public Law 101-601; 25 U.S.C. 3001-3013) describes the rights of Native American lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations with respect to the treatment, repatriation, and disposition of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony, referred to collectively in the statute as cultural items, with which they can show a relationship of lineal descent or cultural affiliation. (source National Park Service)
I think we can all guess that this is due to the recent sales of Hopi and Navajo objects in Paris and the French refusal to stop the auctions. Instead of presuming to "educate the French" about its incomplete system for cultural heritage protection, in order to effect any controls on Paris auctions of cultural items from their territory, the US needs to more fully implement the 1970 UNESCO Convention to regulate the exit of cultural property under the protection of other laws from the US.

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