Reading 4 - Kennedy & Zao 2005

Reading 4 - Kennedy & Zao 2005 - The New York Times...

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The New York Times China's Request for Art-Import Ban Stirs Debate, By RANDY KENNEDY; Michael Zao contributed reporting from Beijing for this article. Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company. April 1, 2005 Friday As art dealers and collectors are descending on New York for the auctions, shows and lavish parties surrounding Asia Week, the attention of many is focused elsewhere -- on Washington, where the Bush administration is now considering restrictions on the importation of Chinese art and antiquities that could have serious implications for American museums and auction houses. Chinese officials have asked the State Department to impose the restrictions, on a wide range of artifacts from the prehistoric period through the early 20th century, because they believe that demand in the United States for Chinese antiquities has helped fuel a sharp increase in looting of archaeological sites and even thefts from museums over the last several years. Currently, United States Customs officials can reject the importation of items from China that are suspected of having been stolen or looted, but in practice relatively few items are seized. Under the proposed restrictions, which would most likely be made as part of a bilateral treaty, many artworks and artifacts could be prevented from entering unless they were specifically approved for export by the Chinese government. The request has sparked an impassioned debate in the Asian-art world, in which many prominent archaeologists, preservationists and scholars have lined up to support the Chinese government, while many antiquities dealers and museum officials argue that the changes would be unfair, ineffective in stopping looting and devastating for the art market and for museums.
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