Saturday, January 01, 2011

Tompa's incorrect claim on looted Cypriot antiquities collecting

After I queried American lawyer and private antiquities collector Peter Tompa on Cypriot cultural protection, he replied with an incorrect claim of an incorrect claim about looted Cypriot antiquities collecting.


Tompa had complained that 'the connected few [Cypriots] are allowed to collect as much looted material as they want'. Yet he did not appeal for the USA to pressure Cyprus to prevent the connected few from buying looted antiquities.

Instead, Tompa claimed that American 'import restrictions on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus only helps prop up such a corrupt system', and inexplicably advocated that the USA should deliberately increase the international market for looted Cypriot antiquities.

I queried why he did that.


Tompa commented on this blog that,
You are incorrect to claim that opposition to import restrictions at the behest of the corrupt Cypriot state and its allies in the archaeological establishment equates to support for looting. Read my blog for context.
Incorrect claim

I challenged Tompa's representation of my blog post:
I do not believe I said you supported looting. I believe I said you wanted American collectors to have the same access to looted antiquities as Cypriot collectors.

If you object to the fact that 'the connected few are allowed to collect as much looted material as they want', do you object to anyone collecting looted material, in which case you would surely support American import restrictions, as well as [additional] Cypriot acquisition restrictions?

Otherwise, does your objection have nothing whatsoever to do with Cypriot collecters' purchases underwriting looting? Instead, do you object to the fact that you were not able to buy looted Cypriot antiquities?
I look forward to knowing which of those grounds is Tompa's reason for lobbying against American import restrictions on not-demonstrably-legal Cypriot antiquities, so that I may ensure my representation of his work is accurate.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Sam, it will be interesting to see what clarification is offered. Despite all the talk of "fairness" and "discrimination", so-called enlightened "cosmopolitanism"/ "internationalism", when you strip away the facade what the US antiquity dealers are campaigning for is the "right" to import illegally exported artefacts, no matter where they come from.

    This is nothing more than colonialism. And these dealers and their supporters accuse others of being corrupt!