Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some Thoughts on the Renewal of Cambodian MOU

Cambodia certainly has a far more sympathetic case than many applicants for import restrictions.   On the other hand, I’m not sure that the case made to protect sculptural elements from Khmer temples justifies import restrictions on everything and anything old down to the 16th Century, including things like beads and statuettes.   I’d also like to know more about collections formed in Cambodia itself, particularly the one evidently put together by a government minister.   Does his collection have any statutes or sculptural elements in it?  If so, where and when were they collected?   It seems wrong to me that U.S. Government has filed suit against Sotheby’s demanding the return of a statute that left Cambodia decades ago if wealthy Cambodians, including at least one government minister, have been allowed to collect such material “no questions asked.”

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