Thursday, January 5, 2012


While some archaeo-bloggers are claiming that the 20% or so of the comments in favor of the extension of the MOU with Cyprus are somehow more profound than the 77% opposed (as if this makes up for the deficit), what they don't say, but which should be readily apparent from reviewing the comments is that virtually all those supporting the MOU are either archaeologists that depend on excavation permits from the Cypriot government to maintain their livelihoods, or are individuals or institutions otherwise dependent on the good graces of the Cypriot authorities to conduct their work.

That is not to say that the views of these individuals are not sincere. However, the fact that Cypriot authorities can easily monitor comments on the website may very well color what these individuals say, and thus make it even less likely that they will say anything at all that might depart from the Cypriot Government "party line."

For instance, do any of them so much as acknowledge what everyone knows-- that wealthy Greek Cypriot collectors are the major consumers of recently excavated antiquities on the Island and that they collect with the full knowledge and approval of Greek Cypriot authorities? Of course not.

In addition, the exceptionally low level of public support and its linkage almost exclusively to such "hangers-on" again suggests that the State Department's import restrictions regime is little more than a special interest program for archaeologists and other academic institutions that do business in Cyprus.

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