Thursday, June 25, 2015
Preservation Not Repatriation Should be the Goal
The Committee on Cultural Policy has published my commentary on repatriation and the Syrian Civil War. Unfortunately, HR 1493, as currently drafted does not change the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act's 19 USC Section 2609's requirement that material be repatriated back to Assad. And, let's not forget "public diplomacy" will apparently trump an artifact's safety every time. Indeed, even after unanimous votes in the House and Senate, the Iraqi Jewish archive-- which includes documents stolen from Jews fleeing repression-- may still be returned to Iraq sometime in the not so distant future. Hopefully, the US Senate will address this problem as it considers HR 1493.