Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UNESCO's Next Leader

No, UNESCO's next leader is not a controversial Egyptian. See:

Nor is UNESCO's next leader the "Russian Beauty" pictured (for the moment at least) in an advertisement embedded next to the story captioned, "A Glance at UNESCO's Next Leader". See

Rather, UNESCO's next leader is Orina Bokova of Bulgaria, a long-time diplomat.

The article describes Ms. Bokova as follows:

Bokova is a career diplomat who has served as Bulgaria’s ambassador to France and its permanent delegate to UNESCO since 2005. She lost a bid to become vice-president in 1996, and served as Bulgaria’s foreign minister for a few months in 1996-1997. From 1982-1984 she worked on political and judicial affairs at Bulgaria’s U.N. mission in New York.

Hopefully, Ms. Bokova's elevation to head UNESCO will encourage the Bulgarian government to spend more money on preserving its archaeological sites. See:

Looting is a more complex issue, and one hopes Bulgarian authorities will consider whether a PAS and Treasure Trove law will assist in helping to record portable antiquities. Back in 2006, prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Nickolay Ovcharov apparently endorsed a licit market that required reporting of finds and the introduction of a state operated auction system for the sale of artifacts to collectors. Perhaps, the merits of such a system also can be reviewed further.

Addendum: The "Russian Beauty" has now been replaced by another advertisement. This is probably for the best. Ms. Bokova, who also is described as an expert in women's issues, might not have seen the humor in it anyway. I did find it funny, though. It reminded me of another such combination I recall seeing years ago. A newspaper headline proclaiming "Pope Appeals for Calm" was juxtaposed with an advertisement for a remake of "King Kong" showing the "Great Ape" atop the World Trade Center. Of course, it was the age of print media so the image was not so ephemeral.

Addendum II: For details about some unsavory behind the scenes politicing for the post, see

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