Friday, March 1, 2013

Peru Wants Artifacts that Left Country after 1822

Peru has asked French authorities to stop an auction of Peruvian artifacts that left the country years ago.     Sotheby's used to auction off such material in New York, but U.S. import restrictions on pre-Colombian art has driven that business overseas.

President Sarkozy made a concerted effort to increase France's share of the auction business. Perhaps, the Peruvian Government is hoping that France's current "soak the rich" Socialists will be more amenable to repatriation demands, however stale the claim.

Whether French authorities take the Peruvian claim seriously or not, all this is just more evidence that museums and others were snookered into accepting a 1970 date for acquisitions of artifacts.  If they thought such a concession would quiet repatriation demands, they were very, very wrong.   If anything, such concessions have only encouraged further demands-- the slippery slope rule applies yet again.  

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