Wednesday 21 December 2016

Patriot Act and the US Ethos on Artefects

Cultural Heritage Lawyer, 'Antiquities Forfeiture Under USA PATRIOT Act Marks Milestone in Cultural Heritage Law' Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Prosecutors last week filed a forfeiture complaint in federal district court to acquire legal title to cultural property accumulated by the terror group ISIS, also known as ISIL. The civil action is the first of its kind, rooted in one of America's most robust anti-terrorism laws.[...] The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release, "The lawsuit marks the first time that the United States has filed an action to forfeit antiquities that are foreign assets of ISIL."
The problem is that mere forfeiting and repatriation is not what the game is about. US collectors and dealers are right in saying that, in the US context, the issues over illicit antiquities have been reduced to questions of 'who owns the past (not you)' and controlling access to antiquities. This is a states-side perversion of what the rest of us want to see, which is the prosecution of the culture criminals handling the stuff.

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