Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greek Economic Woes Hit Cultural Establishment

Greece is facing severe economic troubles. Its national debt as a percentage of GDP is a cause for grave concern. As this article makes clear, all this has also impacted Greece's ability to care for its cultural heritage. See http://www.theage.com.au/world/economic-woes-cloud-ancient-greek-glories-20100227-pa2x.html The crisis is so bad major cultural sites have been closed. Even worse, corruption and waste has eaten into what funds are available.

Greece needs to rethink its priorities. State control over everything "old" only exacerbates the problems of severe underfunding. Greece should allow a licit market in redundant artifacts and tax it so monies can be used to fund Greece's underfunded cultural treasures.

6 comments:

Charles Ellwood Jones said...

It would be far more useful for Greece to address the "corruption and waste" issue before offering yet more opportunities for private interests to profit at the expense of the common good.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Curious you say "yet more opportunities" for the private interest. As far as know a few antiquities dealers are grandfathered in to sell artifacts and that is it. Meanwhile, Greek storerooms are filled with stuff that will never be displayed and is subject to decay, particularly if there is no money to conserve it. Sounds like the best way to address "corruption and waste" is to sell some of this stuff, transparently of course.

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Charles Ellwood Jones said...

I was not referring to antiquities dealers in my comment. In a culture of corruption and waste, I can't see how selling anything has any effect other than lining the pockets of the corrupt and wasting resources.

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