Monday, November 10, 2008

Cambodian MOU Posted

The State Department's Cultural Heritage Center has posted the new MOU with Cambodia on its website:

The MOU furthers the archaeological community's preference for loans (Art. II. A.) over the creation of licit markets. It also potentially justifies the use of public monies to fund archaeological activists under the guise of providing "technical assistance." (See Art. II. C. and

The MOU also at least implicitly recognizes that poor conservation practices and corruption threaten Cambodia's cultural heritage. (See Art. II. E and F. See also:

While Cambodia undertakes to seek collaboration with Thailand over the illicit movement of Cambodian archaeological material (Art. II. G.), one suspects this may be easier said than done due to the strained relations between the two countries relating to control over the site of a sacred Temple Complex. See:,8599,1851339,00.html

Finally, it is interesting to note in this era of financial turmoil, all these undertakings are subject to the availability of funds. (Art. III.)

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