Sunday, June 10, 2012

MOUs Should Be About "Respect" for Governing Law

The State Department has announced that the MOU with Peru has been extended once again to "demonstrate [its] continued respect for the extraordinary cultural heritage of Peru."

While I agree that Peru has an extraordinary cultural heritage, import restrictions are only supposed to be extended if they meet the significant procedural and substantive constraints found in the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.  What then about "respecting" governing law?

Certainly, restrictions were only meant to give countries like Peru time to get any looting under control-- they were never meant to be reinstated time and time and again.   Peru has already had the benefit of US import controls for 15 years.   Hopefully, by the time the next renewal comes along in another 5 years someone responsible at State will conclude enough is enough.

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