Friday 4 August 2017

US Congress Seeks to Punish Victims of Heritage Crime

This is not a way to MAGA
in the world's eyes
In Welthaupstadt America', the Witschonke Approach rears its ugly head again. ACCP's headline gleefully notes (Congress Holds CPAC Accountable American Committee for Cultural July 25, 2017):
Congress has finally taken steps to ensure that the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) actually documents the effort (or lack of it) that art-source countries make on their own behalf to inventory and protect sites and museums. The law that CPAC operates under requires that a country requesting import restrictions meet this requirement:
19 U.S.C. § 2602(a)(1)(B) that the State Party has taken measures consistent with the Convention to protect its cultural patrimony.
The Cultural Property Advisory Committee has often been accused of ignoring this requirement
Yeah? By whom and on what evidence? As for these so-called 'art source countries', which countries are not art source ones? Also is not the term 'self help' redolent of  neo-colonialist patronising? Many nations have no problem looking after their own onterests and have no need to as a 'Big Uncle Sam' to step it - but what they are asking in the CCPIA is that 'Nasty Uncle Sam' stops its citizens nicking their stuff.
“The Cultural Properties Implementation Act (CPIA) requires countries participating in MOUs restricting cultural property take significant self-help measures… The Committee also requests the Secretary of State review the feasibility of collecting and reporting on the cost of measures taken by partner countries in support of their cultural property MOU with the United States and be prepared to report on such review during the hearing process on the fiscal year 2019 budget request.” 
So, let's get this straight, a country which suspended its UNESCO contributions in protest over a democratic vote to recognize Palestine's interest is now demanding that other states demonstrate that they fulfill the measures of the 1970 UNESCO Convention when they themselves do not recognize Art 3 (apparently), or to any but the most insignificant degree Arts 5-8, 10-14, and I bet they don't either fulfil Art 16 and are not eligible for Art 17. The very nerve! Just who do these people think they are? It is time for the USA to act honestly and withdraw from the 1970 UNESCO Convention as their government clearly does not understand the thinking behind it. 

Art 9 is about helping other people, not punishing them for falling victim to the evil international illicit antiquities market. Helping people. Do Republicans understand that? 

Soon, no doubt, in a US headed in that self-righteous direction, rape victims will have to prove that they were 'properly dressed' and 'took precautions' before the event before they are given help.

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