Monday, May 2, 2016

Worth the Wait?

The House has approved the Senate's trimmed down version of HR 1493.  Now, the legislation will go to President Obama for signature.

Both bills included Syrian import restrictions, but the Senate did away with a controversial new State Department "Cultural Property Czar" in favor of recommending a coordinating committee.  In addition, the Senate bill strengthened the House "safe harbor" provision for certain Syrian antiquities brought into the country for protection by Museums.

As much of the delay in passing the legislation appears related to the proponent's desire to use the Syrian crisis as a justification for the creation of a new State Department enforcement bureaucracy, CPO wonders whether all this again begs the question whether it's really about "cultural heritage preservation" or "bureaucratic fiefdom building" and "control."

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