The problem with cultural property
Here’s a brief essay in the New York Times by Edward Rothstein that I am afraid I don’t have much to say about at the moment. I think I agree with it, at least partially, but I get the feeling that there is an important counterpoint that is not coming to mind. The editorial essay is from May 27, and is titled, “Antiquities, the World Is Your Homeland.” It argues that the idea of cultural property, which is supposed to protect important art, artifacts, and architecture from looting and destruction, though well-intentioned, is having the effect of restricting public access out of bureaucratic state (and tribal) interests. Though he doesn’t advertise it specifically, an aspect of Rothstein’s point is anti-authoritarian and decentralist. As I say, I don’t have much to say about it other than that I think it presents an important question.