Monday, 23 October 2017

CPAC Public Submissions Online

Top row: CPAC in session, Peter Tompa with his flag collection, Josh Knerly.
Bottom row, Tess Davis, Katie Paul and Mitch Hendricksen

The CPAC public session about the Cambodia MOU renewal has just finished. I missed the very beginning, but came in just at the beginning of the presentation of Tess Davies. This made all the right points and was very valuable as a contribution from somebody working in the field in Cambodia. Then there was (an invisible) Kate Fitzgibbon from Tumbleweed Town Santa Fe for the dealers, making all the same snide unhelpful xenophobic comments one associates with her posts on the ACCP website. She does not seem to have any firsthand knowledge of Cambodia. After this show of Trumpist sentiments, it was heartening to listen to the excellent Mitch Hendricksen, another person who has been actually active in Cambodia and again made all the right points. This presentation was loc=gically structured to present the main issues connected with the four determinations being discussed in the framework of the CCPIA. This was followed by a pretty annoying series of point Josh Knerly (representing the AAMD) whose Amerocentric demands to what CPAC should 'demand' from Cambodia before they actually honour the 1970 UNESCO Convention they signed three decades ago simply evoked nausea. Just who do these folk think they are? Why is it so difficult for some people to read the Convention (the one the CCPIA is supposed to implement) and see that iot is not in any way about a poor nation being obliged to help small museums in big countries create blockbuster exhibitions. Have a look at its title, Mr Knerly and reflect where the place of the US is in all this. Fortunately, after this disgraceful exhibition, it was the turn of Katie Paul. Her ambitious, careful and informative presentation of actual data on the US market for Cambodian items (including potentially looted items) was hindered by technical glitches. I hope she puts it online somewhere. Bringing up the rear was Peter Tompa whose degree of Amerocentric cant was only slightly less than that of Mr Knerly. He started rudely haranguing the CPAC, a Presidential committee, on what their duties were. Rude little man. Interestingly he got most of the questions (and a correction) from the CPAC. I am sure we'll hear how wonderful he was on his own blog.

But what really disappointed me was the CPAC's own questions to the participants offering "testimony" (as they put it). They were superficial, totally banal and unrelated most of it to the task in hand. I was extremely shocked when the archaeologist with the funny accent (did not catch his name, on the left of the screen [UPDATE: It was probably Lothar von Falkenhausen, who 'has served on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee since 2012']) suddenly came out with a longish diatribe on the CCPIA prserving 'context'. Ummmm.... no. WTF?  Neither the CCPIA nor the 1970 UNESCO Convention which it supposedly 'implements' do that. So at least one member of the President's CPAC showed he had not got the foggiest idea why he was sitting there in Washington.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme received mentions by Tompa and Knerly as a 'solution', which is odd in the context of what the PAS does and what the CCPIA does... Chalk and cheese, but this old smokescreen continues to be employed to try and cast a spanner in the works.


John H said...

The Portable Antiquities Scheme was mentions by Tompa..." The word you were seeking was, 'mentioned'. Tut, tut, such a basic error, from you, who claims to be a teacher of the English language. You are no doubt operating above your ability level. Why not try evening classes to improve your IQ?

Paul Barford said...

It says "received mentions by".

David Knell said...

There are those who confine blunders to typing and there are those who embrace them as a lifestyle.

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