Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hawass Says Emergency Import Restrictions Coming; Confirms CPAC Process is a Farce

Egyptian Antiquities Pharaoh Zahi Hawass has put up a revealing post on his blog. See

Some hitherto little known archaeological group (the Capitol Archaeological Institute) as well as the usual suspects (AIA, ASOR, National Geographic) have apparently formed a coalition to conjure up new emergency restrictions on Egyptian cultural goods.

Hawass' report of his discussions with coalition representatives strongly suggests that the statutory requirements of the Cultural Property Implementation Act-- including the requirement of review by CPAC-- are utterly meaningless. In particular, Hawass has been told that the restrictions are a "done deal" and that the archaeological groups will be preparing a MOU on behalf of the U.S. and Egyptian governments that will also throw more US taxpayer money at Egypt's corrupt archaeological establishment.

According to Hawass, "The coalition reported that the US Government is willing to impose emergency restrictions on Egyptian antiquities....The coalition will be drafting a formal agreement between the US and Egyptian governments...."

All this is quite interesting. Doesn't this just confirm what those representing the interests of collectors, the small businesses of the coin and antiquities trades, and museums have long suspected-- that the archaeological lobby really runs the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center and that the CPAC process is a farce?

It’s also worth noting that Hawass long claimed that there was no such "emergency" in Egypt, but he is now apparently changing his tune to accommodate the coalition's efforts to clamp down on US collectors of Egyptian antiquities.

No comments: