Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All in for Sisi

Anyone who thinks the Antiquities Coalition is only about protecting Egyptian antiquities would do well to read Antiquities Coalition Chair Deborah Lehr's Huffington Post piece promoting General Sisi's efforts to establish business ties with Communist China.  It raises an obvious question.  Is the Antiquities Coalition about archaeology, promoting business deals with the Egyptian and Chinese governments, or both?  More transparency would be welcome.  The Antiquities Coalition entered into its own MOU with the Egyptian Government back in March, but its exact terms have yet to be revealed. 

In any event, perhaps the Egyptians could learn something from the Chinese and their promotion of collecting common ancient artifacts like coins.  Why not let people get back in touch with their past through collecting?  If the Antiquities Coalition is to be believed, looting certainly has not declined since Egypt cracked down on collecting in the 1980's. Indeed, associating antiquities with State ownership has done little more than turn artifacts into targets of rage during periods of civil unrest.

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