Reading 2 - Hawkins & Gibbon 2005

Reading 2 - Hawkins & Gibbon 2005 - Wall Street...

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Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). In the Fray: This Property Claim Should Be Condemned, by Ashton Hawkins and Kate Fitz Gibbon. New York, N.Y.: Mar 29, 2005. pg. D.6 ISSN/ISBN: 00999660 The Chinese request comes under the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA), a U.S. law designed to assist any country that considers its cultural patrimony to be in jeopardy, provided that nation is a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the protection of cultural heritage. Congress passed CPIA in 1983 amid increasing concern over loss of cultural resources world-wide. The legislation had the broad support of the U.S. museum community, archaeologists and art specialists. The arts and archaeological communities agree on an important point: Remedies should be applied to protect important cultural treasures in China and elsewhere. U.S. museums are committed to the return of objects documented as stolen from archaeological sites, historic buildings, temples and museums. No level of aesthetic appreciation, scientific conservation, or scholarly study can justify the misappropriation of China's cultural inventory. For this reason, cooperative efforts to document China's cultural treasures are essential, and should receive full U.S. support. Instead of pressuring the U.S. to deny the importation of all Chinese cultural property from before 1911, China must first enforce its own laws and take the necessary steps to qualify for the U.S. embargo it is seeking. U.S. citizens should not be expected to forgo the knowledge and appreciation of a great cultural heritage shared by millions of Chinese Americans simply because China's government is unwilling to do its share. At a time when trade interests are increasingly global, there is one sector of the world economy in which national borders and nationalist ideology form a significant barrier to exchange: the world of art. U.S. policy has historically favored the free trade of cultural property. Since our nation's founding, books and works of art have crossed our borders to enrich American educational and cultural institutions. We have offered American culture and American art to the world with the same free hand.
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