Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lobbying Group Supporting Egypt's Military Government Scrubbed Before Push for Emergency Restrictions?

Based on recent reports, politically connected members of the Antiquities Coalition  and Capitol Archaeological Institute are lobbying the US State Department in support of Egypt's request for so-called "emergency import restrictions" on Egyptian cultural artifacts.

But conspicuously absent from these efforts are two of their key allies, Zahi Hawass and National Geographic presumably because both are still under federal investigation related to a bribery scheme.

One hand washes the other is unfortunately a fact of life in places like Egypt.  Under the circumstances, there needs to be far more transparency about the Antiquities Coalition and the Capitol Archaeological Institute including their funding, political contacts, aims and exact relationship with Egypt's military government.


Cultural Property Observer said... notes that Deborah Lehr of the AIA, Capitol Archaeological Institute and Antiquities Coalition has given at least $128,000 in political donations over the years, mostly to Republican candidates. Her ability to influence events behind the scenes thus complements that of Democratic bundler and former Ambassador, Clay Constantinou, a board member of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute.

Cultural Property Observer said...

CPO' notes the exact amount listed on the website for Ms. Lehr's donations is $124,800, not 128,000 as noted above.

Paul Barford said...

all that money, interested in the past and not an antiquities collector? What's "wrong" with her?

Cultural Property Observer said...

There is nothing wrong with someone is wealthy expressing her views, the concern is what is going behind the scenes and how that may have changed usual legal practices.