Monday, April 5, 2010

Revised MOU with El Salvador Available

The State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center has published the text of revisions to the MOU with El Salvador on its website. For more, see and

I discussed the extension of the MOU in an earlier post. See

I'm glad to see the revised MOU seeks to address an El Salvadoran archaeologist's suggestion that artifacts be made available for display to El Salvadoran immigrants in the United States.

According to Art. II Sec. D:

Both governments shall endeavor to permit the exchange of pre-Columbian archaeological material under circumstances in which such exchange does not jeopardize the cultural patrimony of El Salvador, such as through temporary loans for exhibition purposes and study abroad, to benefit the people of both countries, including persons of Salvadoran heritage currently living in the United States of America.

On the other hand, I am sorry also to note that there is no reference to fostering legitimate markets in El Salvadoran material, despite the fact that at least some of this material is likely redundant to that already held in El Salvadoran public and private collections.

Somebody needs to help finance the study and appreciation of El Salvadoran cultural material in the United States for the benefit of El Salvadoran immigrants in a money-starved environment. Something also tells me that collectors could help do this, if only they were actually encouraged to do so rather than being discouraged from collecting El Salvadoran material at all.

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