Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Washington Legal Firm's "CPO" can't keep his eye on the ball ?

Blogger Cultural Property Observer addressing his militant sidekick Arthur Houghton attempts (May 27, 2013 at 7:28 AM) to explain away just one aspect of what I said about Mr Houghton's earlier questioning of the position of UNESCO and Bulgarian antiquities in the wake of a recent repatriation of some seized items:
"Arthur, [Mr] Barford cites Bulgarian law on his blog to support his views, but he does not mention that significant portions of this law [...]  were struck down by Bulgaria's Constiutional (sic) Court.
Don't I? Peter Tompa, star cultural property lawyer of Bailey and Ehrenberg PLLC, the author of those words, seems once again to have failed to check what he writes about. He gives no dates or other details, but one can only assume that he is talking about what happened back in September 2009 ("Bulgaria's Constitutional Court Rules on Cultural Heritage Law", Wednesday, 30 September 2009), about which US coin collectors got inordinately excited ("US collectors on Bulgaria's Constitutional Court Ruling on Cultural Heritage Law", Friday, 2 October 2009).

I pointed out at the time that US collectors did not really understand what the whole affair is about. It seems that in the intervening four years, Bailey and Ehrenberg's cultural property lawyer has not actually made any effort to get to grips with it. If he had looked, or (since I explicitly wrote it) understood, what was there staring him in the face in black and white, the version of the antiquities law that I quoted in my discussion of what had been published on his CPO blog was in fact the version which incorporates any changes resulting from that 2009 court decision:
"[...]  we find the Bulgarians doing that in the  ЗАКОН за културното наследство, in Art. 6.1 and 7.1-3 of the current antiquities law, as updated October 2012."
In my books October 20012 is later than September 2009, though maybe Bailey and Ehrenberg's lawyer might argue otherwise. That notwithstanding, it seems that once again, the lawyer has been careless with the facts and not taken the trouble to do his homework, nor did he really take the trouble to read the text which he then and his pal then attack. Not very "observant" of Cultural Property Observer.  

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