Friday, June 13, 2008

James Glassman Confirmed as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy

On June 4th, the Senate confirmed James Glassman to be Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Glassman and his subordinate, Goli Ameri, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, have been granted authority under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act to decide whether and to what extent to impose import restrictions on cultural artifacts.

While time is short, one can only hope that Glassman's background in journalism and Ameri's background in business will prompt each of them to ask some hard questions about how the staff of the Cultural Heritage Center process import restriction requests. As a start, I would suggest that Glassman and Ameri order the Cultural Heritage Center to release all the documents requested in the Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit filed by the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, the International Association of Professional Numismatists and the Professional Numismatists Guild. Depending on what they show about the bias of staff against anyone not associated with the archaeological community, further action may very well be warranted.

For more about Glassman's and Ameri's background, see:

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