Saturday, September 3, 2011

State Department Commissions Egyptian "Red List:" More Evidence of A Done Deal?

The US State Department has given a sole source contract to pro-import restrictions ICOM to create a "red list of Egyptian antiquities at risk." See

Even as any "cultural property emergency" (if there ever really was one) fades, it again appears that the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center may be busily at work stage managing a shadow process for imposing import restrictions on cultural goods.

What should happen under the CPIA is clear. A request from Egypt itself is contemplated. And the request should be processed through CPAC.

Here, however, former Egyptian antiquities head, Zahi Hawass, has himself been assured by American archaeologists that import restrictions are a done deal, making any request from Egypt or CPAC hearings to consider it a mere formality. See

And now it would seem that CPAC will have no real input on the content of any designated list either-- that presumably will be derived from whatever "red list" ICOM creates.

The CPRI has already made a FOIA request related to whether there is any done deal on and MOU with Egypt. See However, to date that FOIA request has not been acted upon by the State Department.

In running for election, President Obama promised transparent government and attention to procedure. Yet, the Obama State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs appears committed to neither.

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