Monday, February 20, 2012

Egypt in Crisis: Clamp Down on Pro-Democracy NGOs Derails Clamp Down on Collectors?

The Egyptian Military Dictatorship's decision to put Americans associated with pro-Democracy NGOs on trial may have derailed efforts to orchestrate emergency import restrictions on Egyptian cultural goods at least temporarily.

The roll-out of the new State Department funded Red List has occurred without the usual hoopla, except for this one post from a lawyer and former prosecutor who formally served as SAFE's Vice President:

And no wonder. While the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has been funding efforts of the archaeological lobby to justify import restrictions on behalf of the Egyptian Military Dictatorship with a sole source contract to prepare this "Red List," the higher ups at State have threatened to suspend all aid to Egypt over the jailing and threatened trial of Americans associated with pro-Democracy NGOs. See

Cultural policy is a reflection of other government policies. In Greece, rational management of cultural resources has been hampered by over regulation, corruption and gross underfunding. Egypt's cultural policy suffers from the same ills along with an absolutely Pharaonic view of government control over the past. So why does the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, its Cultural Heritage Center and the archaeological lobby continue to subsidize and cheer for such corrupt and unfair systems?

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