Sunday, November 18, 2012

Repatriation as a Diplomatic Tool?

Pity poor old U.S News and World Report. It used to be one of the three major news weekly magazines. Now, it's reduced to a web-only publication that in the search for free content has uncritically promoted the views of those ideologically opposed to collecting that repatriation has a real value as a “diplomatic tool.”   But, as I have pointed out in comments to the article,
·         While antiquities should be repatriated in clear cases, the problem is that all too often they are repatriated in unclear situations where the same types of artifacts are openly available for sale in a particular country. How does this happen? Academics with axes to grind against collectors gin up publicity, that gets foreign governments and then our government involved. And given the modest values of many objects and the costs of mounting a legal defense, it’s the rare case where it makes financial sense to contest the seizure-- so the Government wins by default, and hard questions are never asked about the real situation in the source country.

No comments: