Sunday 23 October 2011

American-Egyptian Memorandum of Understanding on Antiquities Smuggling "to be Signed Soon"

An American-Egyptian memorandum of understanding making the Customs and National Security Department in the USA responsible for tracking and catching antiquities smugglers in the United States is to be signed soon reports Al Ahram and Al Masry Al Youm. Of course this is what becoming a state party to the 1970 UNESCO treaty obliges America to do anyway, so its good to see them formally confirming that they do intend honouring just a little bit more of those obligations, though 28 years later than one would have hoped. So it seems my map may well need another red area.

Dealers' paid lobbyist Tompa complains:
Such MOU's (sic) are only supposed to be decided after a formal request from a State Party to the State Department. CPAC is then supposed to make recommendations to the President's designee at the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, who in turn is only supposed to agree to import restrictions if specific statutory criteria are met.[...] If the reports emanating out of Egypt are true, its just more evidence that the whole CPAC process is but a bad joke.
Yes, the way the United States of America "implements" the 1970 Convention is indeed a bad 1980s joke. A very bad and damaging joke, given the voracity of the US no-questions-asked market for antiquities. It's good to see some evidence that the US is at last changing its attitude to the cultural property rest of the world. Probably dealers like the ACCG have done their part in bringing home just how much damage can be done to international relations by continuing to ignore the problem.

In any case, Tompa is being misleading when he says that such measures always need CPAC input, emergency regulations do not, do they? Anyway, the Cultural Property Research Institute (sic) is already on the case.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.