Friday, March 11, 2016

But Are They Discussing the Hard Issues?

The Antiquities Coalition and Middle East Institute have convened another confab for Middle Eastern Governments to talk about "culture in peril."

But was there any discussion of clamping down on corruption that has led to serious thefts in both Egypt and Jordan?

Or moderating confiscatory laws?

Or protecting private cultural property of individuals and minority ethnic and religious groups?

Or allowing legal antiquities sales to encourage commerce and public interest in the past as is allowed in Lebanon and which used to be allowed in Egypt and other countries?

Sadly, the Antiquities Coalition report suggests there was just more of the same talk of "victimization" and the need for ever more harsh repressive measures with which we have become accustomed. But given the authoritarian nature of the government participants, should that be a surprise?

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