Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unveiling the Executive Branch's Extralegal Cultural Property Policy

Stephen Urice and Andrew Adler of the University of Miami have posted a draft paper on the "Social Science Research Network" that discusses the executive branch's extralegal approach to cultural property issues.
See http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1658519&download=yes

The State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' twisting of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act to ensure the broadest application of import restrictions figures prominently in the study.

Hopefully, the Department's political appointees, Judith McHale and Ann Stewart Stock, will take the time to read the work and take much needed steps to ensure that both the letter and intent of the law is being followed. To date, as the article discusses, that simply is not the case. Rather, an archaeology over all/cultural property protection ends justifies the means mentality prevails.

Addendum: This article has attracted predictable unfavorable comment from certain self-appointed representatives of the archaeological community. The major criticism that the article has been cited in unfinished form misses the point that SSRN encourages the posting of draft articles to prompt informed comment. Unfinished or not, the draft raises important issues that deserve serious consideration.

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