Thursday, August 15, 2013

Do the Right Thing

It appears from reading the Washington Post article about the proposed return of the "Jewish Archive" to Iraq that many of the artifacts are in fact personal in nature.  If so, shouldn't the US State Department and its Cultural Heritage Center be required to make images of the archive available to families of displaced Jews and give them an opportunity to claim what is rightfully theirs before such material is repatriated?   Who has better title, a successor government to those which hounded these people out of the country that had been their home for generation upon generation or the families themselves?

1 comment:

Cultural Property Observer said...

Arthur Houghton asked me to post this:

"Peter, you are asking too much from State. They are hard-wired to sending everything that Iraq claims to Iraq, mindlessly and regardless of the consequences and the fact that the Jewish Archive morally belongs to a culture and not to a state. Fortunately, an enormous volume of precious material, handed down by generations of Jews in Iraq, has found its way to Israel and to interested communities in Europe and the US. This is as it should be, and those who argue otherwise have irretrievably blackened their own reputations. For our Department of State, one can only say, "Shame on You."