IMPORTANT PRESS RELEASE: THE HOLOCAUST ART RESTITUTION PROJECT AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOPI TRIBE DENOUNCE AN “APPALLING” AND “OUTRAGEOUS” DECISION BY THE FRENCH TO REFUSE THE SUSPENSION OF AN AUCTION SALE OF SACRED HOPI “KWAA TSI” TO BE HELD...screech the capitals of a press release. We've been through this all before (PACHI Friday, 25 July 2014 US Pot-Kettle-Black and Hopi Masks followed by ' Hopi Masks in France: Dialogue with the Deaf' - Saturday, 26 July 2014 - answering a grotesquely patronising Dr Lucille A. Roussin). The Holocaust Art Restoration Project seem more concerned with throwing drama-queen histrionics again than actually analysing why they are barking up the wrong tree.
The rest of us can note that we have an international Convention of which both the US and France are states parties, and because of the failure of the US to do any of the things it stipulates which allows definition of US cultural objects as such (UNESCO 1970, Art 5, 6, 7, 10a) then the French authorities had no legislative grounds to come to any other decision in the light of their own legal system. So yes, regrettable, to be sure, but the US has not safeguarded items like this from this point of view (no export licensing system in place for such items for a start) - so to then attack the French over this seems a little unfair. Why are FHARP railing at "The French" rather than their OWN gubn'mint which by the way they "implement" the international convention that would normally apply has made it impossible for the French to do anything about this?
As we've all seen, the US is all too keen (in its Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act and its process of CPAC adjudication) to stand judge over the other State Parties, so it seems fair that we here in Europe should be able to take a critical look at the US system too.