Friday, February 14, 2014

Secret CPAC Meeting to Discuss the Italian MOU

The Federal Register has announced a closed CPAC meeting to discuss the MOU with Italy to take place on March 13-14, 2014.  CPAC should be discussing whether the MOU should be scrapped altogether   because Italy is no longer living up to its end of the bargain.  But more likely, the closed session will be used to spoon feed CPAC members with information about seizure of ancient coins in Italy in support of a claim that restrictions should be continued and even expanded.   Of course, the fact that ancient coins are widely and legally available within Italy and the rest of the EU will not warrant mention.

Speculation?  Sure.  But CPO notes that the Bush Administration conducted an open CPAC meeting to discuss the interim review of the Italian MOU so we would know at least some of what was discussed.  President Obama promised that his Administration would make transparency a priority, but apparently the State Department and its Cultural Heritage Center never got the word.  At least, State still promises that an open meeting will be scheduled if Italy asks that the MOU be renewed.

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