Monday 23 September 2013

Heritage Task Force Badly needed in US

Rick St Hilaire reports: 'New Wildlife Trafficking Initiative Should Be a Model for an Antiquities Trafficking Initiative', 23 Sep 2013. He suggests that something should be created for heritage on the same model as the new Advisory Council to the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking which is tasked with developing a national strategy for combating this crime. Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher of the U.S. Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said, [...] "The illicit wildlife trade increasingly involves international organized crime and millions of dollars, and it is driving some protected species towards extinction in our own time. The Department of Justice treats these crimes with the utmost seriousness." Most other nations have ministries of culture which integrate policy on such issues with national policy in other areas of culture (such as museums) and advise on legislation and individual cases. This is rather than the odd US system of scattered individual (and sometimes parallel - in the US there is already the CPAC) "presidential committees". Is "antiquities trafficking" really the only cultural issue in the US today that needs addressing, are there no others? Who covers them, and why can there not be an integrated approach in a modern government?

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