A review of the regulations.gov website reveals that 91% of the public comments on the proposed MOU with Egypt either opposed a MOU with the Egyptian military dictatorship or extending restrictions to coins.
The regulations.gov website indicates there were 341 comments received, but after accounting for double comments (one by an opponent and several by proponents (which appear to be posting errors, not attempts to "stuff the ballot box") and discounting for a "spoiled ballot" (a comment which only contained a corrupted PDF) the number drops down to 338 comments. Of these, 310 were opposed and a mere 28 supported the MOU.
Two-hundred sixty-six (266) of those opposed to the MOU in whole or in part wanted coins exempted. Some 44 (mostly antiquities collectors or dealers) others opposed the MOU on more general grounds.
Of the 28 supporting the MOU, only 5 specifically supported import restrictions on coins. That's 1.4% of the total!
All this again raises some important questions.
1. Are MOUs merely a special interest program for archaeological groups and US and foreign cultural bureaucracies?
2. If there is so little real support for import restrictions on coins, and so much opposition to it, what behind the scenes forces are at work to explain the action?
At a minimum, its high time for some additional light to be shed on the process.
Friday, May 16, 2014
91% of Public Comments Against MOU with Egyptian Military Dictatorship
Posted by Cultural Property Observer at 2:51 PM
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