Friday, 12 June 2015

IAPN Lobbyist: State Department "Blow Job"?


Washington 'backdoor'?
The International Association of Professional (sic) Numismatists' lobbyist 'excels itself this time in its paid lobbyist's attempt to throw mud at HR 1493 Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act ('State Department Funding Backdoor Lobbying Campaign in Favor of HR 1493?'). In it he publishes such choice comments as:
"a minority of well connected archaeologists have access to the corridors of power and I often wonder, who blows who"
It may come as a surprise to the semi-literate authors of such comments that the text of the document itself "to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters, and for other purposes" defines Cultural Property as including property covered under —
(A) the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, concluded at The Hague on May 14, 1954 (Treaty Doc. 106–1(A));
(B) Article 1 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO on November 23, 1972 (commonly referred to as the “1972 Convention”); or
(C) Article 1 of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, adopted by UNESCO on November 14, 1970 (commonly referred to as the “1970 UNESCO Convention”).
So, certainly not just that which would have suplicant "archaeologists" kneeling before officials in "corridors of power". These three international conventions cover a far wider range of the cultural heritage of humanity than just dugup antiquities. In any case, the very idea that officials in a civilised country would need some extraordinary persuasion, backdoor or otherwise, to actually take steps to help protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability, armed conflict, and natural disasters is something that probably would only occur to the lobbyists for the commercial trade in knocked off, dug up and ripped off fragments of the archaeological heritage. When will we see dealers associations like the IAPN take a less confrontational position in the heritage debate and show more concern for what dealers can do to make the exploitation of the heritage by their industry more sustainable and responsible? Certainly not while their public advocy is in the hands of the likes of Peter Tompa and his foul mouthed mates, hell-bent on disruption, espousing asocial attitudes and sniping.

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