Friday, 29 January 2016

US Artefact Smuggler/Dealer Sentenced

Matt Zapotosky, 'Probation for dealer who smuggled artifacts from grave sites in Pakistan - Washington Post', January 29 2016

John Bryan McNamara, 51, a fossils and artefacts dealer from Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria late last year to a smuggling conspiracy charge. He reached a plea agreement in which he acknowledged that he had worked with individuals in Pakistan to smuggle antiquities stolen from graves into the US and selling some of them for profit ('Orlando Dealer, his Shop and 'Museum'...', PACHI Sunday, 15 November 2015).
McNamara dealt in such goods and ran an online museum displaying some of his wares. He said in a previous interview that he kept, rather than sold, most of the materials he imported from Pakistan, as his interest was mainly in the scientific value of the relics rather than the monetary value. He said he did not think initially that what he was doing was illegal and, in some ways, thought he was rescuing precious materials.
He has been sentenced to two years of probation, authorities said.This leaves him free of course to continue to sell ancient artefacts  (here and here ' have a look through some random descriptions and see how few enlighten us on the verifiable legitimacy by which those objects reached the market, a lot of vague assurances and nothing else). One wonders whether, given the US country-specific cultural 'preservation' model, the sentence for the same offence would be different in the case of artefacts smuggled out of a country with more oil and dollars for American weaponry.

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