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I thought this might be of interest to any archaeologists on the list

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othermeans Donating Member (858 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:31 PM
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I thought this might be of interest to any archaeologists on the list
I was running through some old ARCHAEOLOGY magazines and came across this article regarding the takeover of the Iraqi museums and patrimony. IF you get a chance to read the whole article it quite enlightening.

"The Americans want not only our oil but also our history. Tn order to restock their museums, they have need of new masterpieces," explains one high-ranking government official. "Their universities have always carried a particular interest in the civilizations of Mesopotamia," he adds.

This assertion could be quickly dismissed as paranoid if not for statements made by members of the New York based American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), an organisation of, antiquities collectors and museum curators who have met with U.S. State and Defense department officials to discuss heritage preservation in Iraq and to offer their assistance in postwar planning.

ACCP treasurer William Pearlstein, a lawyer representing the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental, and Primitive Art, recently told Science magazine that the ACCP views Iraq's current antiquity laws as "retentionist." Furthermore, the council supports "a sensible post-Saddam cultural administration" that would allow for "some objects certified for export."

Others feel that the U.S. should have no role in modifying Iraq's post-war antiquity laws. "Iraq's archaeological heritage belongs to the people of Iraq, and it is for them to determine its disposition," says Patty Gerstenblith, an art lawyer and member of the Archaeological Institute of America.

"It is not for the U.S. government whether or not under the influence of pressure from American dealers, collectors, and their lawyers-to change the Iraqi antiquities laws and thereby to facilitate the sale of Iraqi antiquities on the art market in the West."

ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE May/June 2003 page 15
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