Saturday, 11 July 2015

ADCAEA "Stop HR 1493"


The 'Association of Dealers and Collectors of Ancient and Ethnographic Art' wants to stop the 'Act to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters, and for other purposes' (HR 1493) passing through the US Senate. Then follow the arguments lobbyist Tompa has busily been deploying on his Cultural Property Obfuscator blog
Unless a Senator lodges an objection, the bill will be approved by unanimous consent as it was in the House. Do you know any Senator that can ask to put this bill on hold?
I am sure one will be found, willing to face out the subsequent public opprobrium to show the world just what Washington thinks of the international obligations of the US. Is it true that the ADCAEA speaks for "all collectors of ancient art", everywhere? I think that is probably not true, but the dissenters are keeping quiet. And of course it is just "collectors" isn't it? No mention of any dealers there... a bit like the "Ancient Coin Collectors' Guild" which is really a dealers' interest group. Dishonesty and deflection at every step.

Now, in the interests of fairness, the ADCAEA will explain to all its members that what HR 1493 actually does is implement the measures of the 1970 UNESCO Convention  to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters in a manner far more timely and effectively than the cumbersome processes introduced by the 1980s CCPIA which has stopped not a single artefact smuggled from a region of the world recently affected by conflict or natural disaster: Egypt, Libya, Mali, Yemen, Nepal for example. Either America actually implements the Convention properly, or it should get out and stop pretending.

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