Wednesday 2 November 2011

My Bulgarian Comment

Having moaned about everybody else's I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is and write my comment to the CPAC on Bulgaria and Belize. It turns out that the limit of "2000 characters" is "2000 characters and spaces" so what got sent had to be scrunched-up version of what I'd drafted earlier this morning.

So here's what I'd intended to write, it is a bit abrupt and does not mention everything I wanted to say but it will do. It did not quite come out the same way on the website either, but no matter, the coineys are sure nobody actually reads them.
I support the request from Bulgaria to do as much as possible to curb the movement of illicit antiquities across US borders by increased scrutiny of imports as per Art. 3 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the CCPIA.

Bulgaria’s rich archaeological heritage is seriously threatened by looters who, in defiance of antiquity preservation laws, are systematically and clandestinely stripping sites (particularly Thracian and Roman ones, as well as the Greek colonies on the coast) of collectable items many of which are destined for sale on foreign markets. US sellers for almost two decades have been openly offering „minor antiquities” stripped by metal detector and bulldozer from sites like this (and even candidly identified as such) in huge quantities. The artefacts are sold in the US in bulk-lot bags (coins) or by the kilogramme (fragments of artefacts) which are then sorted and sold on individually. A whole sector of the „minor antiquities” trade in the US and the dug-up ancient coin trade in particular, have been founded on the amount of fresh material entering the market from these sources. Despite the vehement protests of those involved in this trade and supplied by it, it is time for the US to get tough with this abuse taking place across its borders to help make international controls on the movement of illicit artefacts more effective.

Bulgaria applies the measures envisaged in the Convention to combat this looting. While it is true that the efforts of the authorities to prevent the destruction of the heritage are seriously hindered by economic, socio-demographic and political factors, this is no reason for the international community to turn its back on a plea for help. The seizure of illicitly-exported material of this type at the US borders would not only be in accord with the measures envisaged by the 1970 Convention, but the consequent investigation of those at source and destination of each instance of attempted illicit activity will obviously be of potential assistance in unravelling chains of international criminal activity.

Closer scrutiny of archaeological and ethnographic material of Bulgarian origin crossing US borders is a non-drastic means of providing this help and respecting the obligations of the USA and other states parties under the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
Well, let us sit back and see what happens.

The Belize one (apparently it is code 80f644db) was shorter but in much the same vein, without the 'criminal' theme...

Gentle reader, you have but a few hours to make your thoughts known to the CPAC.


Nathan Elkins said...

Comments can also be typed in a letter (over several pages) and attached as a pdf.

All best,

Paul Barford said...

Yes, indeed. I was in a hurry today. Welcome back to the blog Nathan.

Nathan Elkins said...

Thanks. Very busy these days. I submitted some comments by post.

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