Tuesday 23 March 2010

New ACCG Freedom of Information Request Planned?

After the reported questioning of Wayne Sayles by US Customs, one of the members of the board of directors of ACCG threatened that an FOI request would be made and that
"if the US State Department continues to carry on with its secretive proceedings in violation of the intent (and perhaps the letter) of the CPIA, I don't see what alternative there would be in order to seek transparency and accountability".
The world holds its breath. The world also would like to see much more of that "transparency and accountability" in the global antiquities trade.

Mr Welsh added provocatively: "Of course Mr. Barford probably won't consider that to be important since it only involves the rights of collectors". What I consider to be important are the rights of the many more people who are not indscriminate collectors of dugup artefacts to expect that the state would be taking measures to protect what survives of the world's archaeological heritage from commercial depredation.

I think also of the rights of those in the collecting community who do care, and would like some verifiable assurance that the objects they acquire have been legitimately obtained. The ACCG is fighting US government to retain the indiscriminate buying and import of artefacts which shields the trade in illicit material from scrutiny.

In the circumstances, is linking dealer Sayles' reported questioning with "collectors rights" justifiable? Is it in antiquity collectors' interests in general wise for a minority group to be engaging in headlong conflict with the US government, instead of understanding why measures are in place and complying with them?

1 comment:

Marcus Preen said...

What a shame Mr Sayles isn't part of a government agency. Someone could slap in hundreds of FoI requests requiring he reveals the precise origin of every single one of the coins he is currently selling!

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