|IAPN and PNG solve lead theft conundrum?|
Tompa sees the problem of the the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as being resolvable by being
either more careful in issuing [metal detecting] permits or adopting something akin to the PAS in the UKThis is weak logic. Firstly many of the designated antiquities covered by the existing US legislation are non metallic (statues, ceramics etc) and thus not acquired using metal detectors. Secondly, it remains to be seen how may times one has to explain to superficially-thinking US commentators that the PAS of England and, for the moment, Wales has absolutely no connection with import, export and transfer of ownership of any type of cultural property. Like his equally-ill-informed but mouthy compatriot Rabbi Zev Friedman (here and his students here) blaming the Holocaust on the people of Occupied Poland in their so-called "Polish Death Camps", Tompa places the blame for looting on archaeologists:
Rather than overbroad restrictions that adversely impact Americans interested in Greek culture, let’s consider modest steps archaeologists can take — like ensuring their sites are monitored in the long off-season and ensuring local people they employ are paid a fair living wage so they don’t have an incentive to loot to help make ends meet—instead.That is like saying that preventing lead roofing theft from English churches should be countered by the "modest step" of creating a broad social programme by ensuring that vulnerable remote sites are guarded by a parishioner spending the night on the church roof and ensuring all local people "have employment with a fair living wage so they don’t have an incentive to loot to help make ends meet". Presumably he would advocate the same approach to preventing "nighthawks" too. I think the problem with this is that as a lawyer, Mr Tompa should be aware that crime is not caused exclusively by opportunists who "cannot make ends meet". The fact that lawyers can make money defending people accused of culture crime suggests that not all of them are without financial resources. Of course the way to stop rural crime like stealing building materials and scrap metal is to make it more difficult to monetise them by putting restrictions on transactions on the market and raising public awareness among buyers. It can be seen from their conrtribution to the public discussion here this is something the IAPN and PNG have totally failed to do.