Thursday, 19 March 2015

McGovern-Huffman on Italy Cultural Property Illicit Import MOU, "Perverted"

The Association of Dealers & Collectors of Ancient and Ethnographic Art do not support the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the US and the Republic of Italy and will be making an oral presentation and will answer questions at the April 8th meeting.  They describe the current MOU as "perverted" and these US dealers and collectors (against the very spirit of the 1970 UNESCO Convention) think the US should decide for the Republic of Italy what it may consider as its cultural property of cultural significance for its citizens. The Americans apparently think that if collectable archaeological artefacts are of low monetary value and possess no special or rare features of form, size, material, decoration, inscription or iconography, they "cannot be realistically deemed of specific cultural, historical, or scientific importance to the Republic of Italy".
For the above reasons, ADCAEA therefore recommend the Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Italy not be extended.
Yet US collectors will eagerly snap them up and US dealers will gladly profit from them, won't they?

I suggest that Italian shopkeepers not try to tell the Americans what they should and should not consider to be significant to their culture and the story they want to tell about the past, and in return for that favour, the American shopkeepers keep their noses out of trying to dictate what Europeans should value and treasure.

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