Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Slim Public Support for Renewal of the PRC MOU

Only seventeen (17) individuals (virtually all of whom are archaeologists), groups (archaeological trade associations and advocacy groups) and museums wrote CPAC in support of extending the MOU with the PRC.  Two (2) museums and the Asia Society gave qualified support (though the Asia Society requests the MOU to be modified to end restrictions on any artifacts for open sale in China).  Finally, twenty (20) individuals, trade and advocacy groups representing the interests of dealers and collectors have opposed the extension.

These numbers yet again demonstrate the very limited public support for MOUs.  That's not surprising as MOUs only really benefit the interests of  the foreign cultural bureaucracies that parcel out excavation permits and the favored archaeologists and museums that profit.  

A real cost-benefit analysis should be performed as to the value of such restrictions compared to the harm they undeniably cause to collectors, dealers and museums and to the people to people contacts and cultural understanding collecting fosters.

Public comments can be viewed on the website.

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