Scandalously, Egyptian sources are reporting that a MOU will be signed in early 2015 authorizing blanket import restrictions on Egyptian cultural artifacts. As Peter Tompa perspicaciously observes, this was obviously a "done deal"even before the Cultural Property Advisory Committee met this summer. Now the ban is coming in, discriminating against US collectors, preventing them from ever owning ancient artefacts from yet another country. This is yet more evidence, if any is needed, that MOUs are prejudged and that proceedings before CPAC are little more than a farce. We are becoming like the countries our State Department partners:
Egypt is now ruled by a military dictatorship which just ran a sham election that anointed General Sissi as Egyptian president. So, if the rule of law is important to our State Department as it is claimed, why does the Bureau of Educational and Affairs and State Department leadership allow its own Cultural Heritage Center to engage in such shams? These kinds of shenanigans are standard operating procedure in military dictatorships like that in Egypt. Instead of sinking to that level, our State Department-- which is so fond of lecturing others about the merits of "Democracy" --should be providing the Egyptians with an example of what the rule of law means.It is becoming increasingly clear to the collecting community and among the small businesses of the numismatic and antiquities trade that the Cultural Heritage Center is little more than a bureaucratic dictatorship in the service of the archaeological lobby and its crusade against collecting. No wonder trust in government is at an all time low.