ICOM has published a " Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk" with the support of the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center. While the concept is not itself objectionable, what is objectionable is the message that the objects on the list are presumed "guilty" until proven "innocent:"
"Museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors are encouraged not to acquire such objects without having carefully and thoroughly researched their origin and all the relevant legal documentation."
While this may make sense for objects where there is already a reasonable suspicion that they may have been illicitly removed from Syria, it makes little sense for items like Roman coins, which are legally sold and collected most everywhere.
Meanwhile, in the ever more surreal archaeological blogosphere, anti-American Paul Barford demands to know why the Obama Administration has not already entered into a MOU with Syria to protect Syrian cultural patrimony. To be fair, perhaps Mr. Barford is just trying to be ironic.
In any event, presumably US Customs already feels it has ample authority to interdict illicit Syrian cultural property based on the bewildering array of economic sanctions already in place.