Paul Barford, a harsh critic of both collectors and outreach efforts like the PAS, is apparently a collector himself!
Another blog by someone named "Candice" recently revealed that information. There has been speculation whether "Candice" really exists, and whether it is appropriate for her to have a blog devoted entirely to Mr. Barford and his views. I personally think it's a bit over the top, but so too obviously is Mr. Barford's approach to the issues.
In any event, Barford has dismissed the claim his collecting of antique Japanese prints is hypocritical. He states his collecting is okay, because they are not typically archaeological artifacts, but is it as simple as that?
As I observed as a comment to Barford's collecting blog (which was posted immediately, presumably because he has not enabled a moderation feature):
Mr. Barford- This is an interesting area to collect in and I commend you for your efforts in that regard, but aren't any of these prints over 100 years old subject to the 1970 UNESCO Convention? If so, do you believe they should only be purchased if accompanied by an export permit from Japan or proof they left Japan as of 1970? I recognize you distinguish archaeological artifacts from other collectibles, but that distinction has not stopped groups like SAFE from demanding the repatriation of ethnological objects along with archaeological ones. Under the circumstances, isn’t Candice’s critique a reasonable one?
For more, see
It will be interesting to see if there is a response.
Addendum: Mr. Barford did respond with insults, but without addressing whether his collectible antique prints may be subject to export controls.
Here is how Washizuka Hiromitsu, a Japanese expert, characterized Japan’s laws at a Japan Society event:
WH: Thank you. Let me talk about protection of cultural property in Japan. In Japan, registration is undertaken under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. There are two categories under the law: one is “National Treasure” and the other is “Important Cultural Property.” Once the items are registered under one of these categories, exporting them is strictly prohibited. This is how we protect traditional Japanese cultural properties. However, this does not mean to preclude exceptions. For a significant international cultural exhibition such as this one, many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties were brought here for the exhibition. In this case we are certain that these items will be returned to Japan. For these cases, where we are certain that the objects will be returned to Japan, the director of the Agency of Cultural Affairs will issue permits to export these items.
Dealers will handle other non-registered items. In that case, the certificate of audit for export is necessary. The certificate requires a photo to accompany each item so that customs officers can identify it. The application for the certificate with a photo must be submitted to the Agency of Cultural Affairs. The Agency then verifies whether or not the item in question is registered as an Important Cultural Property or National Treasure, or neither. If it is not registered under either of the two categories, the item is available for export. In the case that an application comes under consideration and the Agency for Cultural Affairs has not been aware of the existence of the object, and that object happens to be extremely important, the Agency is allowed three months to decide if it should be registered as an Important Cultural Property. It also can decide to purchase the item so that the item cannot be exported. This is the current situation.
Sorry, Mr. Barford, it seems to me that antique prints may potentially be subject to Japanese export controls. At best, the issue is unclear, and if so, isn’t the burden on Mr. Barford to prove the negative, under the same guilty until proven innocent standard he foists on others?