Thursday 10 November 2011

US Apathy: Wisconsin Twelve Apparently Unchallenged

It was a year ago that twelve congressmen challenged the US Cultural Property Protection Programme, several of them previous recipients of ACCG "Friends of Numismatics" awards. What they are doing here is a scandal. Let us recall who these people were:
Paul Ryan (R-WI),
Thomas Petri (R-WI),
John Culberson (R-TX),
Michael Burgess (R-TX),
Sam Johnson (R-TX),
Lamar Smith (R-TX),
Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX),
John Campbell (R-CA),
Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) ,
Rob Wittman (R-VA),
John Spratt (D-SC) and
Joe Courtney (D-CT).
These guys claim to be supporting "key American values".

- The
illicit import and transfer of cultural property involves stealing. Is theft from others a key national value of the Wisconsin 12's United States?
- The illicit import and transfer of cultural property involves dishonourable trade practices, lies on the customs declaration forms, is dishonesty and dishonour now a key American value?
- The illicit import and transfer of cultural property taken from other countries is a deep disregard and disrespect for the rights of the citizens of the countries from which they are illegally removed, since when was disregard and disrespect for others a key US national value?

Did these people actually understand the document they signed, together with its full implications? Did they? Can they explain why they signed it? Have any of the people they represent in Congress actually written to them and asked?

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