Tuesday, 14 June 2016

ADA as Illiterate as the rest?

Cats know, dealers don't
The ADA reckons that "‘Vital changes’ are needed to looted art bill as dealers says definition of ‘cultural property’ is too vague" but I think they need to get somebody who can actually read and write to argue their case. They propose that "cultural property" should be defined so narrowly as to preclude the artefacts which are the bread and butter of both the legal and illicit trade to be exempt from any kind of controls.
The association believe that [the existing] definition is not specific enough and could “unintentionally blight artworks and objects that have nothing to do with this issue”. ADA chairman Chris Martin said that the definition used in Article 1 of the UNESCO Convention – already adopted by 130 countries – is more appropriate “because it restricts the definition to items of ‘outstanding universal value’ in terms of cultural heritage.”
Mr Martin will, of course be only too happy to be asked to point out where that wording occurs anywhere in Art 1 of said Convention, or in any of the remaining 25. I think he is confusing it with the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the US CCPIA, isn't he? Peter Tompa will no doubt come to his rescue. I think the time is over for dialogue with the antiquities dealers, past and current experience shows perfectly clearly that they quite obviously will use any number of false arguments denial and deflections to stave off the introduction of responsibility into this blighted trade. Time to call a STOP to their farrago of nonsense.

Surely what is cultural property is what is sold and used as precisely that.  Antiquity and art dealers do not sell potatoes for French-fry-making.

UPDATE 23rd June 2016

Mr Martin did not have the decency in him required to actually answer my letter enquiring about the source of the text he quoted, let alone that required to retract his false statement (antiquity dealers, eh?). Neither, be it noted, is there any trace of any dealer or collector in the ADA or from outside it  pulling him up on his evident ignorance of the wording of this important convention./ Not a single one.

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