Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act Section 303 (1) for Concerned Collectors

(Mr Weiss, this means you) Just for any straying collectors who might be looking in before making a public comment on the request by the Hellenic Republic of Greece for the USA to curb imports of illegally exported ancient artefacts and other cultural property from Greece, here is a reminder of what Art 303 (1) of the CCPIA (which is what the CPAC will be assessing) actually says:



(1) [4] IN GENERAL. -If the President determines, after request is made to the United States under article 9 of the Convention by any State Party-

(A) that the cultural patrimony of the State Party is in jeopardy from the pillage of archaeological or ethnological materials of the State Party;
(B) that the State Party has taken measures consistent with the Convention to protect its cultural patrimony;
(C) that-
(i) the application of the import restrictions set forth in section 307 with respect to archaeological or ethnological material of the State Party, if applied in concert with similar restrictions implemented, or to be implemented within a reasonable period of time, by those nations (whether or not State Parties) individually having a significant import trade in such material, would be of substantial benefit in deterring a serious situation of pillage, and
(ii) remedies less drastic than the application of the restrictions set forth in such section are not available; and
(D) that the application of the import restrictions set forth in section 307 in the particular circumstances is consistent with the general interest of the international community in the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes;
the President may, subject to the provisions of this chapter, take the actions described in paragraph (2).
That is what the public submissions to the CPAC should cover, not whether coins "were widely traded in antiquity" or whatever. Would stopping ancient artefacts illegally exported from Greece from easily entering arguably one of the biggest foreign markets for this kind of material be a means of reducing the pillage caused by the clandestine excavation of ancient sites to produce saleable artefacts for the international market? Or not? Note, it allows commentators to suggest other, less drastic, measures the USA can take. What could they be?

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